Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alice Springs residents urged to save water with new plan

A new water plan urging residents to save water is being launched today for the desert town of Alice Springs.

Alice Water Smart was launched by Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Urban Water & Sustainability.

The plan aims to reduce Alice Springs’ water use by 1600 million litres per year, equivalent to two months average water supply.

Power and Water Corporation General Manager Water Services Steve McKenzie said the plan is unique to Australia.

"Alice Water Smart is a comprehensive water saving program that gets individuals, homes and businesses to work in tandem to establish a water wise future"

"Everyone, from individuals to big business is being asked to reduce their water."

"Over the last 40 years more than half the volume of the Sydney Harbour (250,000 million litres) has been extracted from the Alice Springs bore field."

"Per household, Alice Springs residents use approximately 1,500 litres per day, which is the equivalent of 166 buckets of water."

"For the future sustainability of our groundwater supply we must preserve our water, and we are asking Alice Springs residents to become more aware of their water use and to develop water wise habits."

"In Alice approximately 65 per cent of household water use goes on to gardens, that is about 1,000 litres per day."

The Alice Water Smart consortium, led by Power and Water Corporation, comprises The Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sports (NRETAS), Arid Lands Environment Centre, Alice Springs Town Council and Tourism NT.

The $15 million Alice Water Smart Plan will include projects like home and business water audits, an expanded rebate scheme, smart irrigation for parks and ovals, improved water management and increased recycling, and installation of smart meters to allow homes and businesses to monitor water use, as outlined below:

Reuse: Existing water reuse infrastructure will receive a $6.5 million upgraded to improve quality and increase quantity of treated wastewater to offset the use of potable water for irrigation, allowing some large water users to use recycled water for irrigation and horticulture.

Rebates and retrofits: Funding for rebates on water-saving household items will increase from $200,000 to $1.5m. This includes water efficient shower heads, toilets, washing machines, pool covers and efficient garden products.

Reticulation: Water pressure varies with topographical variability in Alice Springs, this, combined with the desert climatic extremes, places water infrastructure under demand so $2 million will be used to facilitate a system of better pressure management.

Metering: Smart water meters, which allow customers to monitor their water use and help identify leaks and high water use activities, will be rolled out.

Parks and ovals: With $1.2 million Alice Springs Town Council will install more of the telemetric irrigation control systems, which monitor weather conditions such as rainfall and humidity to irrigate efficiently. The systems can also detect leaks and shut off supply to the affected line.

Accommodation: With $210,000 through Tourism NT, accommodation providers will be offered water audits to identify water savings. Visitors to Alice are increasingly motivated by being environmentally aware and responsible. This will aid decision making to visit by those responsible travellers and also improve experience in terms of their environmental footprint.

Homes and Businesses: A range of household and businesses water audits to provide them with more choice in developing appropriate water saving options.

Funding of $7.5 million is being provided under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, a key component of the Australian Government’s long-term Water for the Future initiative.

This was matched by Power and Water Corporation with contributions from consortium members.

For more information visit http://www.alicewatersmart.com.au/

Twittercue: @AliceWaterSmart launch today, the new plan urges #alicesprings to save water http://tiny.cc/awslaunch #aws #green


Media enquiries:

Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or

Lorraine Hook from Power and Water Corporation on 0401 117 599