The desert town of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory will soon lead the way in water conservation.
Alice residents are being urged to cut water use through a $15 million plan that aims to drive smarter, more efficient use of water in homes, businesses, parks and gardens.
The Alice Water Plan project involves education, audits and infrastructure development to cut water use by 1600 million litres per year.
The Alice Water Plan consortium, led by Power and Water Corporation, comprises Arid Lands Environment Centre, COOLMob, Alice Springs Town Council, Tourism NT and the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NRETAS).
Power and Water Corporation project sponsor Alan Whyte said the aim is to harness the environmental consciousness already shown by Alice Springs residents through Alice Solar City.
“The people of Alice Springs have already shown they are energy champions. We now want to add water to their environmental efforts,” Mr Whyte said.
“Reducing our water consumption through small achievable measures will help conserve this precious resource and allow our town to grow in a sustainable manner.”
The program will increase water recycling, provide additional rebates and retrofits for customers and encourage the installation of smart water meters to allow Alice residents to monitor their water use.
Funding of $7.5 million was provided by the Australian Government’s long-term Water for the Future initiative, through National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns.
This was matched by the NT Government through Power and Water Corporation and additional funding from Tourism NT, $100 000, Alice Springs Town Council $ 300 000 and NRETAS.
The $15 million project has been put together by the consortium and includes:
• Water audits for homes and businesses
• Smart meters that help people understand their own water use and make changes
• An $8.5 million infrastructure project that would allow some large water users to use recycled water
• A $2 million project to regulate water pressure and reduce leaks
• A $1.2 million project to reduce water use in parks and gardens using smart technologies, and
• A program to reduce water use in hotels and other tourist accommodation.
The project is expected to be officially launched in May.