The year was 2007 and Queensland was suffering through one of its worst droughts.
Then Premier Peter Beattie, as part of the State Government’s Target 140 campaign – which aimed to cut residents’ water use to 140 litres a day – spent $1.5 million on Chinese-made shower timers.
The theory was good, but in practice the devices (like sands through the hourglass) were wildly inaccurate. Tests showed the supposed four-minute timers ranged anywhere from three to eight minutes, while some simply fell apart as water dissolved the glue.
Fast forward 12 years – Beattie is still around as the boss of the NRL now – and there is a new idea to help the Sunshine State through its latest dry spell.
Songs which run no longer than four minutes are seen as the modern-day solution to keeping the kids from wasting the water.
Queensland Urban Utilities has launched a new free Spotify playlist of shower songs to help people in Ipswich save water, energy and money.
The new ‘Bathroom Beats’ playlist features songs that run no longer than four minutes – the time QUU says we should be aiming to spend in the shower to be more waterwise.
QUU spokesperson Sarah Owens said the playlist was available on the free version of the popular streaming app.
“Ipswich can get very chilly in winter, so we tend to take longer, hot showers to warm ourselves up which can lead to higher water usage,” she said.
“By showering to a four-minute song, it’s easy to know when it’s time to hop out, saving you water and money.
“There are more than 50 water-themed songs on the playlist including Splish Splash, It’s Raining Men, Waterloo, and Singing in the Rain.
“The songs can be streamed on your phone or a wireless, water-resistant shower speaker, which you can pick up from around $10.”
Ms Owens said showers accounted for about 30 per cent of household water use in South East Queensland.
“A water efficient shower head uses around 9 litres of water per minute, so by reducing your shower time from seven minutes to four minutes, you can save around 27 litres of water a day,” she said.
“For a family of four, that can save around 40,000 litres of water and $150 over a whole year.”
South East Queenslanders are being encouraged to be more waterwise after the combined level of Seqwater’s drinking water dams fell below 70 per cent, triggering the ‘Drought Readiness’ phase for the community.
“Water restrictions are still a long way off, but we’re all being asked to be a little bit more conscious of water use around the home and garden,” Ms Owens said.
“Showering to the beat of ‘Bathroom Beats’ is a simple way to make saving water fun and it’s also easy for kids to do.”
To find the ‘Bathroom Beats’ AM and PM playlists, simply search for Urban Utilities on the free Spotify app which can be downloaded from Google Play or Apple app store.