Why Water Tanks Are Used So Widely In Rural Australia

We all know that Australia is an island nation. It’s a very large one, but it’s still a single parcel of land surrounded by ocean. You could argue that the same rule applies to all land masses, but most other land masses are continental bodies, while ours is a country as well as a continent.

Being an island nation means two things. One, that we are centrally governed despite our vast land area, and two, that a lot of our water is salty. Over the years, researchers have brought up this issue. Since many areas of our country have salty water tables, there isn’t much fresh water available.

You might sink a well or dig a borehole, but you’ll still end up with what is essentially sea water. A lot of our inland lakes and ponds contain salt water as well. In fact, some of our more enterprising residents are starting to use salt water in their swimming pools.

While we do have some in-ground sources of fresh water, they are quickly getting depleted. For many regions in Australia, the main source of fresh water is rainfall. Certain areas have a monsoon season, where it rains heavily from November to March.  During this season, many residents store water for use over the rest of the year. Other areas of Australia have near-desert conditions, and conserving water is a life-saving skill.

While most of Australia has urban populations of between 80% and 90%, there’s still a good portion of Australians who live in the countryside. Many of them practice large scale farming, spending most of their lives on massive ranches. Others make their living in areas populated by saline water sources.

For these Aussies that live outside of cities, a different way of life is the norm. They sometimes have few of the amenities we take for granted, like electricity and running water. This doesn’t mean they live a third-world back-water stone-age existence. It simply means the infrastructure set up by central governments hasn’t wound its way to them.

Fortunately, rural areas receive a lot of sunlight, so they can set up solar panels and wind turbines for their electric requirements. Water though, that’s still a problem.

People who live in remote areas have become quite good at planning their lives and working around the weather. That’s why almost every rural home has a water tank, often more than one. Depending on the size of the family and the activities that make up their routine, a household can have tens of water tanks.

For rural areas that practice farming or mining, water isn’t just for drinking and bathing. Animals need to be watered as well. Plants need irrigation while they grow, and cleaning before they are processed or taken to the market. Household chores need doing, and that truck needs washing too.

During slaughter season, lots of water is needed to prepare animal carcases. When the animals are birthing, or when it’s high season for pests, they need to pass through treated cattle dips or to be kept hygienic so that baby animals come out strong and healthy. Without piped water, it’s essential to have safe, durable tanks that have adequate capacities for daily use.

Tanks can be constructed out of concrete, but they are more often made of plastic. Depending on personal preference, available space, and primary functions, the tanks can be installed above ground or below ground. Certain types of tanks will need a pump to deliver the water for easy access. Most in-ground tanks, for example, will need to have water pumped to the surface.

Water tanks also require accessories, such as piping systems that connect them to overflows and roofing gutters. These help in gathering rain water and run-off, as well as preventing wastage. Tanks come in a variety of styles and colours to appeal to a wide range of customers.


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