Local governments on board with water efficiency
Released 07 Jul 2009
A recent survey conducted by the department's water recycling and efficiency branch has returned positive results about the role of the plans in progressing water reform in local governments.
Of particular note is that 80 per cent of respondents agreed that the water conservation planning process has led to their council making commitments and providing resources to improve water conservation and/or efficiency.
The water conservation plan process is a collaborative process between the department and respective local governments to assess and improve the use of groundwater resources for public open spaces.
"We have been working with each council on an individual basis and the process of change has begun as evidenced by this survey," Director Water Resource Use Rob Hammond said.
"The survey feedback provides us with an indication of how well that collaboration worked beyond the fact that we have successfully engaged all 31 Perth region councils to adopt a water conservation plan.
"We are now engaging with 25 priority country councils to expand the water conservation planning process with local government.
"A logical progression of this will be that councils will become more aware of opportunities to look at alternative fit-for-purpose water source development, efficient water use and water recycling opportunities.
"This will be one of the pathways for Perth to become a water sensitive city.
"Some of these improvements were installation of new scheduling systems, soil improvements, maintenance and upgrades, new watering regimes and concepts, and generally a better understanding and awareness and education of use of groundwater for all parks staff.
"The Waterwise Councils program was also recently launched and builds upon the water conservation plan process to get commitments to scheme and groundwater improvements in local government as well as water conservation plans for parks and gardens."
Mr Hammond said there was particular interest in use of groundwater resources regarding the current trial winter watering restrictions.
"We have identified that public open spaces have immense social values, not the least their use for sports and recreation.
"Local governments need substantial volumes of water to deliver the parks and gardens ratepayers want and expect.
"By working on efficiency gains, it is possible to deliver parks and gardens that maintain the social value but need and use less water."
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441