Beating the drought

Andrew Mathieson
Local industries are finding ways to live with the water crisis after Barwon Water announced its harshest restrictions are on their way.
While news that no business or household will be allowed to water gardens and lawns following the introduction of stage four restrictions could spell disaster for a number of local business, some are looking at new ways to sustain themselves.
A $25,000 State Government grant has helped Lara’s Boomaroo Nurseries plans to expand water recycling in its glasshouse seedling production facility
Manager Theo Jacometti believed the company was a “good corporate citizen”, saying it had reduced its water consumption after applying for concessions under stage three of restrictions.
“Barwon Water has been in discussion with us about our water usage, asking us to look harder at it, which we have done,” he said.
“We are still looking really hard at where savings can be made.”
Mr Jacometti said Boomaroo would even truck in water to ensure its 100 employees still had jobs.
“At the end of the day, it’s the individual person who has got the first call on water,” he said.
Faggs North Geelong manager Nick Chanley said the company was pushing drought-tolerant plants while water-saving device sales had “gone through the roof”.
“So it’s just a matter of keeping an eye on the stock levels,” Mr Chanley said.
“We’re not going to go crazy – we’re still going to keep stock while people keep planting.”
However, gardening services businesses were finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs.
Greater Geelong Gardening owner Joe Anello said calls to clients’ homes had gone from once every fortnight to once a month since the restrictions took hold.
Mr Anello had gone from five or six new calls a day to just one in the past month during his busiest period – spring.
“I can see a few gardening businesses going down by the end of December, to be perfectly honest,” he said.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.