DROUGHT-affected Australian farmers will receive water tanks over the next six months as part of the new #FinishWaterWaste initiative.
Finish Australia, in partnership with Rural Aid and supported by Coles Group will strengthen water security for drought-affected communities by providing tools to capture and re-use rainfall.
The program launched during National Water Week on October 21, 2021.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the water tanks are necessary for farmers facing drought.
“Our farmers continue to experience the challenges of ongoing drought,” he said.
“The simple act of donating tanks is a brilliant way to help ensure we capture this rainfall so our farmers can have more security in the future.”
Dalma, a rural locality in the Rockhampton region, was one of the first areas to receive a water tank and water delivery.
Local farmer Julie Sheehan secured a 22,5000 Litre water tank as part of the #FinishWaterWaste initiative.
“This does make a big difference… the drought of 2019 was terrible,” she said.
“Having a new tank to help secure water for when the rain comes is a huge relief.”
The Australian Bureau of Statics released a report in May 2021 which examines agricultural water use during the 2019-2020 financial year.
The data found national rainfall was below average, making 2019-2020 the sixth driest year on record.
The report found Aussie farmers have decreased pasture and crop irrigation as water scarcity has upped the price of water.
The Bureau of Meteorology also recorded rainfall deficiencies during the past 18 months, starting from April 2020.
The national weather, climate, and water agency found the impacts of multi-year rainfall deficiencies caused by Australia’s 2017-2019 drought continue to remain over large parts of the country.
To combat the ongoing consequences of drought, water tanks will allow farmers to accumulate rainfall and maintain water stores.
The initiative has garnered commendation from big household names, like Coles Supermarket.
Coles general manager of non-food, Jonathan Torr, backs the initiative as it aligns with Coles new sustainability strategy, Together to Zero.
The green standard, launched in May 2021, is an attempt to reduce the supermarket’s environmental impact.
“We have the ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket,” he said.
“This initiative encourages Australians to save water while at the same time supporting drought-affected communities.”
Coles has committed to assisting the Finish and Rural Aid cause by delivering ten million liters of water over the coming year to Australian communities in need.
Since 2019, the water project has donated over 14 million liters of water to drought-affected communities.
Reckitt Hygiene, owners of Finish Australia, are prepared to continue providing for drought-affected communities.
“We are pleased to continue to support our farmers,” said Reckitt Hygiene regional director, Oliver Tatlow.
“Our ambition is that by delivering water tanks, our farmers can capture previous rainfall over and over again… to become drought secure in the future.”
Tia Haralabakos is a Media Communications student at Monash University specialising in Journalism and human rights. She is interested in the multi-faceted landscape of digital media, particularly addressing challenges to online reporting like diversity and content moderation. Tia’s journalistic interests include human rights and social affairs.