Water recycling could be the solution: Labor MP

A Labor MP thinks towns in danger of running out of water should strongly consider water recycling, after a visit to the New England.

David Harris, who visited Armidale last week, said the conditions in the region are "pretty dire".

"We're hitting ground that we've never hit before - the idea now that drought happens every now and then and then we recover is sort of changing to drought is the trend and we get the odd good year. It's a whole different way of thinking."

He said he spoke to one of the managers of a local age care centre, who asked his superiors if they had a contingency for running completely out of water.

"They had about 100 people in their facility and he said people were just stunned - what do you mean going to run out of water?

"He said, there's a chance that if we have a really bad summer and no rain then potentially we won't have any water and we'll have to shut the centre."

Mr Harris, who sits on parliament's regional development committee, said they will investigate solutions for a lack of town water storage in regional NSW.

"I think one of the things the committee's going to have to have a look at very strongly is the issue of water recycling," he said.

"I don't think that's anybody's policy at the moment, but it's certainly something that we have to come to grips with that other countries do it and in Australia we seem to despise it.

"At the end of the day if rainfall is dropping significantly and communities have to be able to survive then we have to look to alternative technologies."

The Legislative Assembly Committee on Investment, Industry and Regional Development has started an inquiry into the impacts of the drought and the process drought recovery in regional NSW.

David Harris undertook to ask the committee to travel to Armidale or Glen Innes to allow locals to verbally address the committee but is also urging people to put in submissions.


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