News from New Zealand: Rainwater tank takes sustainability award
Simple But Innovative
A low-cost water tank designed to help people get through in an emergency has won the 2014 Global Energy Award for Sustainability.
The simple but innovative design was developed by Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO), eight councils in the Wellington region and rainwater tank manufacturer the Tank Guy. The tank can hold 200 litres and provide enough water for a family of four for up to two weeks in a crisis.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management recommends storing at least 3 litres of water per person for three days. You will also need water for pets, food preparation, cooking and personal hygiene. In a more extreme scenario, the Wellington Lifelines Group estimate that following a 7.5 earthquake in Wellington it will take at least 40 days to restore the city’s main supply lines and longer to restore water connection to households in the suburbs.
The new tank, therefore, could play a key role in helping people survive. It is small, lightweight and holds 200 litres of water, meets all relevant New Zealand food and drinkable water standards, has good UV durability and comes with a ten year warranty.
Sarah Gauden-Ing and Scott Dray from WREMO, who managed the winning project, said that a key part of its success was the affordability of the tank. The tanks sell for just $NZ 105 each, similar rainwater tanks and kit retail for more than $NZ 200.
“The tanks provide a convenient, easy and relatively affordable way for people to prepare for an emergency. Their popularity is already helping people to store water and improve the resilience of the Wellington region,” says Nick Leggett, Porirua Mayor and Chair of the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group. To-date well over 4000 tanks have been sold across the region. They are available to the public from local councils.