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Australian Grand Prix tackles drought issues 19 Jan 2007

Melbourne hosts round 3.
Formula One World Championship, Rd.3, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 29 March 2006 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 2 April 2006 The pitlane in Melbourne
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 29 March 2006 A swan on the river.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 29 March 2006 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault signs autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 30 March 2006

Organisers of March’s Australian Grand Prix have announced plans to reduce water consumption during the race weekend. They hope the measures, which have been implemented in light of the country’s recent drought problems, will cut the event’s reliance on Melbourne’s drinking water supply by 70 percent.

In previous years, all water used during the Grand Prix had been sourced from local supplies. In 2007, however, organisers plan to use retained storm water from Albert Park Lake for track irrigation, thereby dramatically diminishing the pressure on Melbourne’s reservoirs.

“Tankers will be used to irrigate the trackside grassed verges and areas of high pedestrian traffic within the event,” explained Tim Bamford, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. “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.”

Measures have been put in place to channel storm water from around Albert Park into the lake and the total amount of water to be sourced from it will be equivalent to 1.5cm in its depth. Just 4mm of rain will be enough to replenish the lake with the water used to irrigate the trackside verges.

On top of this, organisers plan to instigate other measures to reduce overall water consumption ahead of the Grand Prix. Waterless urinals, drought resistant plants and alterations to the style of landscaping around the track are just some of the initiatives being taken.

The Australian Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place on March 16-18.