SIMON WALKER: Tanks for nothing, blame it on the rain

For lazy people, nothing highlights waste more than overflowing gutters when it rains. Waste of time mainly. Getting up on the roof to unblock the downpipe.


Because really, the damage has already been done. Water is sluicing down the eaves and into windows you’ve left open. Laterrrr.

In the classic slackarse way, something holds me back fromgetting out there to fix the problem I could have avoided if I hadn’t avoided it in the first place.And it’s not just what’s on TV.

Gettting up on a roof isdangerous, not only to your enjoyment of your couch, but also your health.All that height and slope to fall off.You might get wet too! And why get up on the roof to do that when you could just sit near that window?

I’ll often suggest it’sjust a passing summer shower,but the downpours this year seemed to have lasted all summer, regularly re-energising the flow over the gutters.Not to mention the critics who wanted me to make likeJames Taylor and get up on the roof.

What to do?Well, for one, you could get a ladder and a stick and get up there andcroon.Or two, you could ponderjust how much of that water could have beengoing into your pool, if you hadn’t just filled itup with the hose five seconds before the flood.

Water consumption is all about timing, and times like these I start to think “tank”.Of the panzer variety, toflatten mynon-eco conscious designedhouse that doesn’t have any water tanks.

Since when did water conservation go out the window? Or rather, in it.

I blame Satan.Somewhere shortly after the evolution of the modern McMansion, Satan perverted all sense of civic minded considerations for reducing water consumption.

Satan made us choose non-water efficient showers, toilets, taps and appliances.Or at least corrupted our handiness to the point we didn’t know how to change a washer.

Satan made us pave all outdoor areas andincrease heat radiation and water runoff from our backyards, rather than plant appropriate indigenous water holdingplants.

Satan also made cars too affordable so that we’d get too many, and be always washing them, but not on the lawn, because it’s been paved, but on the drive.

Satan also persuaded us to hose thosedrivesrather than sweepthem. Or more evil yet, leaf blow them.

Yes Satan has a lot to answer for and after the wettest January in recent memory where the only thing falling harder is the stock market, I vowed, that a tank was the go.But not of themilitary kind, ala Mr T and his Snickers commercial.But of the water-catching variety.

One of those timeless devices, familiar to anyone who grew up without town water and the magic of the flush toilet.An old-is-new-again holy grail of modern suburbia.Up there with going off the grid, so you can lessen your footprint in the vegie garden while still mulching enough green energy to run your smart device.Which may or may not be your brain.Because installing water tanksmay helpreduce the need to build dams, but it can also generate a few exclamations along similar lines.

Least that’s been my experience with most things purchased from a certainEuro-enlightenedsupermarket, famous for eclectic flat packsale items.

But there they were the other day wandering through the aisles of Aldi- water tanks by golly – and after a one-second debate about getting one, we got two.That would need to be installed.

And so we stuck them out the back with all the other stuff from Aldi we one day intendedto install, and forget about them.Until the rain came that night.

In buckets, generating Noah-esquescreamsnot unlike “ark”about the windows and the gutters and the …tanks!!!Get the tanks outs.

In iconic drought-breakingscenes not seen since Thorn Birds, we ran out into the downpour andpositioned the tanks under the overflowing gutters and rejoiced in what a contribution we were making to saving water.Which seemed ironic, given how freaking wet it was.

We smiled at how awesome we were that we were finally taking our first tentative steps towardssaving the planet, if not our water bill. We could barely wait for the flood to pass to see how much of a local/global contribution we’d made.

But alas, when the heavens cleared and we checked the tanks, we realised that in our haste, we hadn’t installed the taps.

Oh well, it was a step in the right direction. Better perhaps than sitting on the couch.

But it’s true when theysay every time itrains it pours, pennies from heaven.

Unfortunately, the cup won’t runneth over if there’s a hole in the bucket.