The amount of drinking water used for the 2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix will be dramatically reduced as a result of work carried out by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation in collaboration with Parks Victoria and South East Water. In addition to a range of initiatives which reduce the overall use of water for the event, the use of storm water from Albert Park Lake for irrigation purposes will greatly reduce the reliance of the event on Melbourne's limited supply of drinking water.
This has been made possible by changes implemented by Parks Victoria to divert and retain storm water in Albert Park Lake, which will connect much of the park's automatic watering system to lake water.
Tim Bamford, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, says the innovative move was developed as part of the Corporation's plan to responsibly tackle water usage issues the drought has presented.
“As per previous years, tankers will be used to irrigate the trackside grassed verges and areas of high pedestrian traffic within the event,” said Mr Bamford. “We would like to stress that this water is storm water run-off and has not been sourced from Melbourne's drinking water.
“Healthy grass on the verges is an essential requirement for safe racing, minimising dust and debris on the track surface, as well as providing a smooth, safe surface for cars which come off the track.
“Maintaining grass cover in pedestrian areas avoids potentially unhealthy dust problems, as well as minimising the time taken to restore the park after the event. However, no drinking water will be used for this purpose.”
In previous years, all of the water used to stage the Grand Prix has been drinking water. The new initiatives will see the Corporation's reliance on drinking water reduced by more than 70 per cent.
The total amount of water to be sourced by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation from the lake will be equivalent to 1.5cm in its depth. Just 4mm of rain will replenish the lake with the water to be used to water the trackside verges.
A range of other measures will be implemented to minimise overall water consumption.