Rainwater tanks an asset in
drought affected areas in NSW

A commonly held assumption in Australia is that rainwater tanks don’t provide significant water savings during drought, however, research has showed that yields from rainwater tanks are more resilient to droughts and climate change, than runoff into dams supplying communities with water.

In a study about the relative efficiency of water supply catchments and rainwater tanks, published by Coombes and Barry (2008), drought was defined as a period where runoff into dams reached critically low levels. These defined periods of drought produce very high reductions in runoff into dams ranging from 41% to 69%. Interestingly, the reduction in yields from rainwater tanks ranged from a much lower 0% to 20%.

These results highlight the potential for rainwater tanks to provide a reliable water supply to help supplement water collected via dams and other sources during droughts. It was also noted that it was important that rainwater tanks also supply water during wetter periods, thereby reducing water demands from other sources during more plentiful years, allowing greater carryover storage of water in dams for use in droughts. Another benefit of using a closed tank system is that there is significantly reduced evaporation loss from a system of this type, compared to open water storage. Investing in water tanks has the potential to improve overall water reliability and will help drought proof your water supply.

Drought country NSW

Drought Support

If you or anyone you know is experiencing hardship due to drought in rural New South Wales, information about Drought Relief and Assistance Programs are available at: Drought Hub – Drought Assistance

On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme

Eligible Primary Producers can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost of purchase, delivery and if applicable, the labour cost to engage a person to install water infrastructure for animal welfare needs.

The On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme can be applied to costs incurred from 1st July 2018 for new purchases, and installation of pipes, water storage, water pumps, de-silting dams, and associated power supplies such as generators.

The maximum that can be claimed is $25,000 per farm enterprise.

Drought Hub – Loans

The Victorian Government has also established an On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grant.

Grants of up to $5,000 (ex GST) are available to eligible farm businesses. Eligible farm businesses are required to provide at least dollar for dollar matching funding co-contribution.

Interested businesses are encouraged to call Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 for more information on the application process.

For more information please see the On-Farm Infrastructure  Support Grants Progam Guidelines

Or visit the Rural Finance website.

You may also be entitled to claim a tax deduction for capital expenditure incurred on a water facility if you are:

  • a primary producer
  • an irrigation water provider – for expenditure incurred on or after 1 July 2004.
  • If you are an irrigation water provider, your expenditure must have been incurred primarily and principally for the purpose of conserving or conveying water for use in primary production businesses. The deduction must be reduced to reflect any time when the facility was not wholly used for a taxable purpose.

Read more about this on our blog HERE


Water Collecting Gutter System

Heritage Water Tanks understands how important water security is for our customers and the importance of having an efficient rainwater harvesting and storage system for water. In the same year that the research into the value of water tanks for water security was conducted, Heritage Water Tanks developed a revolutionary patented water collecting Gutter System. This innovative system enables our customers to collect additional water each year from their rainwater tank roof.

After 10 years in the marketplace, the Heritage Water Tanks Gutter System is now recognised by the Smart Approved WaterMark Program and the Water Corporation’s Waterwise Products Program.

The Smart Approved WaterMark Program is an international water efficiency scheme that certifies products and services that save water and the Waterwise Products program helps to showcase water saving products in Australia.

In order to achieve recognition, the Gutter System product was scrutinised by an independent Technical Expert Panel against the following criteria:
1. Water Saving
2. Fit for Purpose
3. Compliance with Regulations and Standards
4. Environmentally Sustainable

The Smart WaterMark Program is the outdoor sister scheme to the well known Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme (WELS) for plumbing fittings and our Gutter System now stands side by side with other respected water saving products, such as the Hunter MP Rotator and RainBird Irrigation Controllers.

Smart Approved Watermark Logo small

Measurable water savings

Over the 10 years that the Heritage Water Tanks Gutter System has been in the marketplace, our customer’s combined, cumulative capacity to collect water has increased to approximately 76,225,000 litres of additional rainwater harvested each year. This is equivalent to over 30 Olympic swimming pools of water that would have otherwise been lost as overflow from the tank’s roof area.

This innovative system has provided individual customers with the ability to individually harvest up to 25,000l extra water each year for each tank installed. (Based on a 110,000l rainwater tank in a 500mm annual rainfall zone.) In high rainfall zones and for larger tank sizes, the amount harvested can be significantly higher.

If you are prone to running out of water each year, the alternative is to buy this volume of water commercially, at a potential cost in excess of $1000 per year. This avoided expenditure more than covers the one-off cost of purchasing the Gutter System in its first year.

The circular tank gutter system can be optionally fitted onto your Heritage Water Tank when your new tank is installed. The gutter can also be fitted to all existing steel tanks with a profiled roof and can be done easily D.I.Y., or by a plumber or tank installer.

Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly in relation to the use of the Gutter System in situations where there is limited roof catchment area available for water harvesting. The Gutter System has increased the capacity of numerous customers, enabling them to harvest additional drinking water for their homes, water for stock, spray-water on farms and in Commercial Operations. The additional water collected each year is also an invaluable supply for fire control in the event of a bush-fire emergency.

If you are interested in finding out more about how our exclusive Gutter System works, please give our friendly Sales Team a call on our free-call number 1800 115 552 and they will discuss whether a Gutter System would be suitable for your situation. You can also find out how much extra water you could potentially harvest each year, using the simple online calculator on our website:

Information sourced from Technical Paper, ‘The relative efficiency of water supply catchments and rainwater tanks in cities subject to variable climate and the potential for climate change’ (Coombes and Barry, 2008).

To see more articles relating to similar subjects, please visit our Water Tank Advice page:

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