SA Catholic schools beat drought - and save water

Assisted by Federal Government grants, Catholic colleges in South Australia have managed to drastically reduce their water consumption and cut ongoing costs while making their sports ovals greener than ever.

The Southern Cross reports that Federal Government community water grants of up to $100,000 have been awarded to country schools hit hardest by the big dry to help them implement new water-saving measures and look towards long-term sustainability.

In Port Augusta, Caritas College has received a six-figure sum to go towards two water-saving projects. The first will collect and filter storm water for reuse in toilets while another will divert excess rain water into an underground tank for use in the school's irrigation system.

In Whyalla, St John's College, St Teresa's School and Our Lady Help of Christians School, have together received more than $90,000 in funding.

Initiatives include the installation of flow control valves into the schools' basin and sink taps, self-closing taps and no-flush urinal systems. Traditional high water use single-flush toilets will be replaced with modern dual-flush systems.

Business manager Geoff Cooke told the Southern Cross that the schools were proud of the water-saving initiatives.

"It makes good social and environmental sense and will reduce costs for the schools in the long run," he said.

In remote Roxby Downs - "one of the driest areas in the state" - a $38,000 grant given to St Barbara's School for a sub-surface watering system has helped develop solutions to not only combat the drought but the ongoing problem of watering a school oval in a desert climate.

"We had a lot of trouble with the system we had before," school secretary Von Hombsch said.

"There was either not enough pressure with the sprinklers or we couldn't water during the day because of evaporation.

"Now they've put pipes underground that water for five minutes about four times a day. The water is going directly to the roots and so none is lost to evaporation."

The result is obvious, with St Barbara's now boasting a lush green school oval.

Drought issues will not be watered down (Southern Cross, 1/3/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas College
St John's College
St Barbara's Parish School
Catholic Education South Australia

Vinnies launches drought appeal for NSW farmers (CathNews, 19/1/07)
Christians unite in prayer for rain (CathNews, 16/11/06)
Climate change on our doorstep, says Caritas (CathNews, 10/10/06)

2 Mar 2007

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