Shire reserve water cuts impressive
Released 22 Mar 2011
Despite a record dry winter and a long hot summer, a redevelopment of Fleming Reserve in High Wycombe has helped the Shire of Kalamunda save 15,000 kilolitres of water in the past year.
The Department of Water has praised the result as impressive re-enforcement of applying water conservation plans to parks and recreational grounds.
Director Water Resource Use Rob Hammond said the shire had provided a brilliant example of how efficient use of water offers more than just environmental benefits.
"Water efficiency integrated into a park redevelopment strategy has resulted in reduced water abstraction from the superficial aquifer and fantastic financial payback periods for the shire," he said.
"The Shire of Kalamunda is leading the community in their efforts to improve water efficiency, and this water savings result on one reserve alone is a fantastic achievement that should be applauded."
Shire of Kalamunda president Donald McKechnie said the council's calculated water savings this year stands at 14,440 kilolitres.
"The council has also nearly recouped the $19,000 cost of upgrading the reserve's irrigation system through the recovery of power and mowing expenditures," he said.
"We didn't want to just use less water, we wanted to use less water and be more resource efficient."
The redevelopment is an example of the council's commitment to improve water management as an endorsed Waterwise Council.
"Local governments are a major water user both in public open spaces and inside their facilities," Mr Hammond said.
"By leading the charge in the campaign to save water, the Shire of Kalamunda sets an example of how public open spaces should function as a community asset that is financially and environmentally sustainable."
In 2008, the shire and the community High Wycombe Community Association approached Perth-based environmental design firm Syrinx Environmental to create a working water-sensitive landscape plan incorporating sporting and recreational areas with families in mind.
With most of the development now complete, the park is getting good use by the community, with regular Friday night barbecues and other activities already planned on the community's social calendar.
"Residents are now more protective of the park and are always concerned about what happens to it," Cr McKechnie said.
"The redevelopment of the park has formed strong links between the community and the shire and that is one of the most imperative outcomes from the project."
Mr Hammond said the council's high profile in the community makes them an ideal leader in promoting wise water use to the ratepayers as well as other councils.
"This development builds on the vital work local governments have been undertaking with the Department of Water through their water conservation plans."
Mr Hammond said the residents and shire should be proud of what they have achieved together.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441