SIMPLE STEPS: Native Australian plants like grevilleas are hardy in drought conditions.
SIMPLE STEPS: Native Australian plants like grevilleas are hardy in drought conditions.

Expert gardener shares tips for surviving drought

THE current drought conditions declared on the Fraser Coast and large parts of Queensland emphasise the need for communities to become more waterwise.

That is the view of Debbie Kruger, the president of the Hervey Bay Gardening Club.

Mrs Kruger spoke to the Chronicle after the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner on Tuesday declared drought conditions on the Fraser Coast and seven other southeast Queensland council areas.

There are now more than 40 councils, representing nearly 68 per cent of Queensland, that are drought-declared.

Affected areas have experienced extreme rainfall shortages and hotter than average temperatures.

Mrs Kruger said communities needed to begin looking at their own water consumption and how they could reduce their usage.

She and her husband are completely reliant on tank water at their property but she knows that is not necessarily an option for everyone.

She said small things could help people make an immediate impact.

“Put a bucket in the shower when you first turn on the tap and wait for the water to heat up. All that water can be used,” she said.

“A dish in a basin will also collect the water when you wash your hands.

“Water-saving shower heads also make a difference.”

Mrs Kruger also questioned why some people felt the need to spray clean their driveways regularly.

“Another thing you can do is only wash your clothes when you have a full load to put in the machine,” she said.

In terms of gardening, Mrs Kruger said it is not all doom and gloom for people who wanted to maintain their gardens during periods of little or no rainfall.

She recommended residents look to grow plants that are native to the area and would survive the harsh conditions.



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