Weather patterns throughout the world are changing. Severe storms are appearing in greater numbers, extreme temperatures ravage cities far and wide, and droughts threaten to alter life as we know it. In Australia, that last one is particularly devastating.
Over the summer, New South Wales — the Australian state that contains Sydney — experienced an unprecedented drought. The lack of rain impacted multiple industries like a domino effect: crops weren’t growing, which meant the companies that sell farming equipment weren’t making any money, and cattle farmers were forced to seek fodder from across the continent to feed their animals.
More than 80% of the state was suffering rainfall deficiencies, although most people were able to conserve their drinking water, undoubtedly in the same steel tanks that have been used for water storage for over 150 years. One town in New South Wales, however, was less than lucky: residents in Bundarra were forced to boil all of their water after it as declared unsafe by the Uralla Shire Council. With temperatures in Australia’s summer reaching into the high 80s, having to boil your water is a frustrating and uncomfortable inconvenience.
“With the heat the way it is, trying to stay hydrated, and having to boil water before using it is such a hassle where as, if it is bottled it makes things a lot easier. The other concern is animals,” said 2NZ breakfast host James ‘Monte’ Irvine, who has recently started a bottled water drive for the town.
The response was immediate: within three days, thousands of liters of water had been donated by listeners and local business. Bunnings Inverell, a warehousing company, decided to go above and beyond the call of duty; after discovering that Bundarra had no adequate way to store large quantities of water, the business donated a 20,000 liter (approximately 5,300 gallons) water tank to the town. BEST Employment and Community Shed, a not-for-profit company which provides a range of community and employment services, then matched the donation with another 20,000 liter tank.
“I’m blown away,” Monte said. “These two tanks ensure that if Bundarra ever runs into this issue of unsafe tap water again, they don’t need to rely on boiling every bit of water they want to use.”