Water management as a solution to climate change

“Geelong needs creative leaders who can change what’s the norm,” Dr Sohail Inayatullah tells us in The Sustainable Hour on 22 February 2016, and in the studio, we have the privilege to spend the hour together with one such leader: Tracey Slatter, who is the new managing director of Barwon Water. It becomes a talk not just about water management, but about values, accountability, and the role of leaders in building that community of trust which is required if we want to take action on climate change at a more serious level.

We also talk with David Maher about sustainable water management, natural farming and the ‘pesticides mafia’, and we get an update from our climate champion Steve Posselt, who only has 15 kilometres more to walk before he reaches Canberra with the Climate Emergency Declaration petition. More info below.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 157 on 94.7 The Pulse:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


» Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software

Sign the petition





 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Re: The content of this hour

Links, excerpts and more information about what we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


 OUR FUTURE: 

Dr Sohail Inayatullah: How to transform Geelong

Top-inspirational eight-minute interview with Dr Sohail Inayatullah who is an international futurist and UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies, recorded at Mercure Hotel in Geelong after a community meeting on 16 February 2016.

“Geelong needs creative leaders who can change what’s the norm.”
Dr Sohail Inayatullah in The Sustainable Hour on 22 February 2016

» More information about Dr Sohail Inayatullah on Wikipedia


 OUR FUTURE: 

Have your say: Its time to decide

It is time to vote for sustainable solutions, climate awareness, better cycling and walking routes and green spaces in Geelong! Select the six ideas you believe are the top priorities for our community.

Geelong Council would like to have your input into our 30 year community vision. Replies go into the draw to win an iPad or one of ten $50 Bunnings / Coles Myer vouchers. Share your views by completing the survey. Its done in two minutes:

1) Read through the ideas
2) Select the top six items that you personally think are a priority for Our Future and check the checkboxes on the right-hand side
3) Once you’re happy with the selection, click ‘Next’
4) On the second page, you’ll be asked some statistical questions about yourself: your age, how long you have lived in Geelong, and that sort of stuff.

Press ‘Submit’, and you are done.

If you want to participate in the draw to win an iPad or a voucher, you have to write your email or phone number, but you can also be anonymous.

» Fill the survey


 OUR FUTURE: 

Trust and equality

Related to what Dr Sohail Inayatullah talks about in the interview:

» The Guardian – 19 February 2017:
Is Finland’s basic universal income a solution to automation, fewer jobs and lower wages?
“Both left and right are promoting the idea of a basic wage for everyone, currently on trial, as a solution to the new world of work”





» Mik’s blogpost on the topic of trust:
Restore a safe climate? First we must restore trust



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Tracey Slatter: Liveability and protection of the environment

Barwon Water will have a stronger focus on climate change, liveability, environmental stewardship and community engagement, Tracey Slatter told the media when she was appointed by the Victorian Government as the new managing director of Barwon Water.

Ms Slatter brings a wealth of management experience to the role having had several years at the helm of local councils, as well as executive experience in the greater Geelong region. She was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Port Philip City Council. Her previous roles include CEO of Colac Otway Shire, Head of Claims at the TAC, Director of Primary and Community Health in the Victorian Health Department and a Director of the G21 Geelong Region Alliance.

» Geelong Indy – 25 January 2017:
‘Climate, pricing’ water boss focus

» Geelong Indy – 10 October 2016:
Geelong’s new water boss to lead on ’priorities’ including climate change, diversity


 SUSTAINABLE WATER: 
Learn more about Barwon Water’s sustainability visions
In December 2016, the sustainability coordinator at Barwon Water, Tony Overman, visited The Sustainable Hour to explain about the organisation’s plan to go 100% renewables by 2025.

» Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 152

» More radio interviews and articles on climatesafety.info on the topic of water

» More radio interviews and articles on climatesafety.info on the topic of the ‘Our Future’ project



 SUSTAINABLE WATER: 

Saving water at home

In Melbourne approximately 35 per cent of household water is used on the garden. Instead of using drinking water, which we pay for, we can water our gardens with greywater, which is free – recycling the water that comes from the bathroom and laundry. 

Greywater tips
To use greywater safely and effectively on the garden, here are some hints:
• do not use water from the toilet or kitchen sink
• divert greywater as soon as possible, never store it for more than 24 hours
• apply greywater to gardens by sub-surface irrigation
• choose detergents with a low salt and phosphorus content
• do not use greywater on vegetable or herb gardens
• ensure greywater is contained within the property boundary
• permanent greywater systems must be approved by local council
• greywater use is regulated by EPA Victoria.

» For more information, please visit www.epa.vic.gov.au

» See Barwon Water’s infosheet (PDF)

Recycled water in purple pipe system
Recycled water has been used in Australia and other parts of the world for many years. Barwon Water delivers Class A recycled water directly to properties in some new residential developments in our region through a separate purple pipe system.

‘Class A’ recycled water is wastewater which Barwon Water treats and disinfects to a safe standard for reuse. It costs 80 per cent of the price of drinking water with no additional service charges.

Class A recycled water is a safe and high quality resource that has been filtered and purified using advanced treatment technology. It is a renewable resource that is not subject to the same water restrictions as drinking water. It is cheaper to use and is always in supply, regardless of climate or population factors.

The quality of water determines the appropriate use. Based on EPA guidelines, Barwon Water has approved the following uses:

– irrigation of public open space, such as parks and sports fields
– garden watering, including vegetable gardens and turf
– washing cars, outdoor furniture and external house cleaning
– ornamental ponds and water features – toilet flushing
– fire hydrants

» Source: www.barwonwater.vic.gov.au


 LEADERSHIP: 

The legal opinion shaking up the nation’s boardrooms

Australia’s prudential regulator warned that climate change could threaten the stability of the entire financial system. It follows a landmark legal opinion that company directors could face heavy fines and damages if they ignore climate change related risk:

“It is likely to be only a matter of time before we see litigation against a director who has failed to perceive, disclose or take steps in relation to a foreseeable climate-related risk.”
Noel Hutley SC, in his ‘Memorandum of Opinion’ from October 2016



The five-minute tv report all leaders must see

» See the clip from ABC News The Business:
www.abc.net.au/news

Australia’s new horizon: Climate change challenges and prudential risk

Speech by Geoff Summerhayes at the Insurance Council of Australia Annual Forum in Sydney on 17 February 2017

» Download Geoff Summerhayes’ speech (PDF)




 CLIMATE CHANGE LITIGATION: 

Austrian court rules: Climate protection is more important than jobs

A court in Austria has ruled that Vienna Schwechat Airport cannot be expanded with a third runway on climate change grounds. It said the increased greenhouse gas emissions for Austria would cause harm and climate protection is more important than creating other jobs.

The ruling is seen as part of a a growing phenomenon around climate litigation. When the executive and legislative powers in society don’t have the courage or the ability to ensure a habitable planet, then the justice system must take its judiciary to intervene.

Similar examples with a focus on citizens’ constitutional rights to a clean environment and a liveable future includes the so-called Urgenda case from 2015 in the Netherlands, where a court ordered the Dutch government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect its citizens.

It also includes a lawsuit filed by 21 children in the US who argue that the federal government violates the Constitution by not doing enough to protect future generations from global warming.

Recently, a lawsuit was also raised in Norway, where the applicants are asking the court to block the government’s permission for offshore oil drilling. They base their arguments on the new provisions on climate protection in the Norwegian constitution to ensure a healthy environment for citizens.

A lawsuit against a planned billion-dollar airport expansion at Copenhagen Airport may similarly be necessary to ensure that Denmark can meet its commitments to the Paris Agreement.

» More information about the Austrian court case: www.airportwatch.org.uk


 

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 NATURAL FARMING: 

David Maher

David Maher manages the Facebook page Watershed systems for the recovery of climate and what he talks about in the interview can be read about further from this page.

The page is a dedication to the works of Haikai Tane, one of the former heads of the murray darling basin commission and Michal Kravcik, author of the paper presented at the 2015 UN Paris Climate Talks, ‘Water for the recovery of climate’ – two of the ‘giants in the forest’ that have supported David’s journey through the natural world.

David formally trained Aboriginal youth at Kariong maximin security jail in Conservation and land management based in the teachings of Japanese Natural farmer Masanobu Fukuoka. He met Peter Andrews a month after he first appeared on the Australian story program and have since spent the last 12 years on and off, living, working and traveling while being shown the observations he has recognised in the landscape.

Considerable time with Andrews was spent at Tarwyn Park, the only complete representative model of what the United Nations recognises as one of five sites worldwide that meet the 2030 millennium goals. Tarwyn Park is longer in the hands of the Andrews family but now owned by the Korean coal company Kepco with future plans to mine.

In the interview, David Maher talks about Australian landscape history, observations and descriptions from the 1700s and 1800s, chains of ponds, the drainage which took place between 1860 and the 1940s with the removal of 96 per cent of Australias wetlands. Changes to landscape also included the removal of 98 per cent of original forest. The extreme weather events Australians are experiencing are a result of land clearing and the damage done to the small water cycle, says Maher.





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Climate champion: Steve Posselt

See what Steve Posselt is up to today – on www.kayak4earth.com




 ADDITIONALLY: 

In other news

From our notes of this week: news stories and events we didn’t have time to mention but which we think you should know about








Solar energy provides reliable baseload power

David Green & Co are on track to build the biggest solar storage plant in the world in South Australia:

“David Green says he’s surprised by just how little Australian governments and regulators understand battery storage technology. He says projects like his will let solar energy provide reliable baseload power.”

Governments can mess it up to a point, and they can waste a lot of public money, but they can’t stop the development entirely. The renewable energy industry is pushing on, and it will take over eventually – just like the MP3’s took over the CD-market, no matter how hard the music industry fought to prevent it.

» Listen to the interview with David Green on www.abc.net.au/radionational

» Share this on Facebook




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Of course we can go 100% renewables – if we wanted to

“The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems.”

» RenewEconomy – 22 February 2017
CSIRO says Australia can get to 100 per cent renewable energy



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Four in five Victorians willing to take action on climate change

“A survey of Victorians has found 91 per cent believe humans contribute to climate change and one third of respondents rank it as one of the top three most important issues facing the state. The independent research commissioned by Sustainability Victoria involved interviews with more than 3,300 people.

Only seven per cent of respondents said there was no such thing as climate change or that natural processes caused it.

Four in five Victorians are willing to take action on climate change and understand that a proactive approach will reduce  energy bills. The majority say that business and industry should contribute to these initiatives.”

» Premier of Victoria – 23 February 2016:
Climate Change Is Real – 91 Per Cent Of Victorians Accept The Science



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Indigenous leaders from around the globe gather for energy congress in Melbourne

Aboriginal Elders and Leaders from across Australia are turning to new technologies that they believe could hold the key to solving long-term energy challenges in their community.

A growing number of remote and regional Aboriginal communities are actively exploring the option of community energy which describes a renewable energy project that is designed, built, owned or operated by a local group of people.

They believe renewable energy and new technologies, such as storage and smart software, can protect their lands, allow them to live on country, break the reliance on expensive and dirty fuel sources, deliver self sufficiency and sustainable community outcomes.

More than 20 Aboriginal Leaders and community members are preparing to travel from their remote and regional communities in Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria to attend the National Community Energy Congress in Melbourne on February 27 and 28.

While there they plan to meet with like-minded Aboriginal Leaders, energy and legal experts as well as First Nations Leaders from overseas who have already achieved success with community energy models.

Kado Muir, of Ngalia Nation, is Director of the Katampul Aboriginal Corporation in Leonara, north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

He said electricity is one of the largest expenses for members of his community, and relying on expensive and dirty fuel trapped many into a cycle of welfare.

“When power runs out between pay days they just can’t keep their household going. Fridges and freezers stop working, air conditioners stop and people even sleep with no lights. Some people go out bush to collect firewood to cook food. Sadly, a lot of the residents affected are pensioners who don’t have cars to go collect firewood.”

He said it was exciting to be able to connect homes to renewable energy and storage under the federal government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

“This means we can bring stability to the power needs of my community, reduce the total costs of power and contribute to reducing carbon emissions. The whole community is looking forward to our transition into a renewable energy based Aboriginal community.”

Aboriginal communities to be represented at the Community Energy Congress include:

Yidinji, Narjon & Mbarbarum Nation, Atherton Tablelands, QLD
Nyemba Nation, Brewarrina, NSW
Murriwarri Nation, Weilmoringle, NSW
Euahlyia Nation, Goodooga, NSW
Wongatha Nation, Kalgoorlie, WA
Ngalia Nation, Leonora, WA
Dadaway Nation, the Kimberley region, WA

The Community Energy Congress is at Melbourne Town Hall from February 27-28. Among the keynote speakers are Canada’s Chief Gordon Planes, Chief of T’Sou-ke Nation, and Melina Laboucan-Massimo of the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation, who have achieved incredible results with renewable energy in their communities across Canada.




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 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Calendar notes

Looking ahead what is happening in the next days and weeks in City of Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast and Melbourne


Thursday 23 February 2017: Transition Film Festival in Melbourne: ‘There Will Be Water’ at 6:30 pm at Cinema Nova. ‘There Will be Water’ is one of the festival’s absolute favorites. It “highlights the power of relentless individuals and world-changing technology to create massive change and solve our most complex problems.” The screening will be followed by panel discussion with ‘thrivability guru’ Dominique Hes, Chair of the Future Business Council, Alison Rowe, Associate at Grimshaw Alison Potter, food expert Ruth Beilin, and ‘massive change for massive impact,’ Luke Taylor.

Saturday 25 February: Pako Festa parade and Geelong Sustainability market stall


Monday 27 February and Tuesday: Community Energy Congress in Melbourne




Tuesday 28 February: Launch of Life Learning, with first class on Plant Power with Eileen Simms. Organised by Geelong Sustainability.

Thursday 2 March: Life Learning: Street Orienteering starting in West Park, Geelong West




Thursday 2 March: ‘The Bentley Effect’ – Melbourne Transition Film Festival 
– Cinema Nova, Carlton


Saturday 4 March: Life Learning: Backyard Chooks with Kerrie Kruger at Beav’s Bar

Sunday 5 March: Clean Up Day Australia




Wednesday 15 March: Green Drinks with Geelong Sustainability – The Art of Frugal Hedonism at Beav’s Bar




Tuesday 21 March: Decluttering Mindfully: KonMari Basics at Black Bull Bar


Saturday 25 March: Earth Hour


» See more details at www.geelongsustainability.org.au/events








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Acknowledgement

We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the environment and with the climate for hundreds of generations. It is not clear – yet – that as European settlers we have demonstrated that we can live in harmony for hundreds of generations, but it is clear that we can learn from the indigenous, traditional owners of this land.

When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…



The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore climate change are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?




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Hours and hours of sustainable podcasts

Listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows in full length and in selected excerpts:

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