Target 155 (I just can’t use that much!)

My water bill arrived in the mailbox the other week, and attached to it was a daily water use summary, allowing me to work out how much each resident was using. In my case – 114.5 litres per person per day.

'Target 155' is hard!

For the purposes of comparison, back in November 2008 the State Government launched the “Target 155” campaign, to encourage Melbournians to use less water:

Melburnians will be asked to limit water use to 155 litres a day per person under new water-saving measures announced this morning by Premier John Brumby and Water Minister Tim Holding.

The personal limits are lower than the current average daily use of 165 litres a person, but mean Melburnians will avoid the tougher stage 4 restrictions under which all outdoor watering would be banned.

The campaign was killed off by the incoming Baillieu government in February 2011:

Victorians will no longer live with personal water consumption targets, with the new Coalition government to dump the high-profile “Target 155″ policy.

More than two years after Victorians were asked to limit their consumption to 155 litres each day, new Water Minister Peter Walsh said the strategy had been little more than a ”political slogan” and would be discontinued.

I already take long hot showers each morning, and use a top loading washing machine – good thing “Target 155” is gone, as I don’t know how else I’m supposed to increase my usage to hit their goals!


In March 2011 Melbourne’s water retailers released a report that showed the campaign was working:

A report released by City West Water boss Anne Barker yesterday – which was jointly conducted by Melbourne’s three water retailers – claimed the influence of Target 155 could be identified using modelling that eliminated the impact of daily temperatures and rainfall on consumption.

The modelling found the introduction of Target 155 sent consumption below the volumes that would have been expected in the weather conditions that occurred. Water savings of 53 billion litres were calculated for the period between the scheme’s introduction in December 2008, and August 2010.

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4 Responses to “Target 155 (I just can’t use that much!)”

  1. Andrew says:

    I should think anyone who has a garden that needs watering would go well over. Even without a garden, ours is about 165. I blame the ten litre plus cold water run off before hot water arrives.

  2. scott says:

    I live alone and own a 2 bedroom apartment, most of the other apartments in the complex contain families with kids. The water bill each quarter is divided by 16 as there are 16 apartments in the complex. My last water bill is $316, yet I hardly use any water at all, taking a 3 minute shower each day. It’s hardly fair when you live in a block of apartments that you are expected to pay for other people’s water usage.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      If you are a renting, it is even worse, as you don’t have the option to get a separate water meter installed.

      My father used to run a Chinese take away in a block of shops with a shared meter. After he moved in, all of the offices in the same block soon had their own meters installed: a busy kitchen uses far more water than two office workers flushing a toilet and boiling the kettle!

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