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Alice Springs Water plan saving millions of litres after first year - 25 July 2012

Millions of litres of water savings have been made through Alice Water Smart just one year after its launch, with first anniversary celebrations taking place tonight at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens.

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 Manager for Sustainable Development, Water Services, Mark Wiltshire says water savings are being made in homes, businesses, parks and ovals; and through water reuse infrastructure upgrades, smart metering and leak detection.

“To date, 882 million litres of water savings have been made or identified, equivalent to over 350 Olympic sized swimming pools.”

“In 360 Alice Springs homes, 112 million litres of water savings have been identified through free Water Efficiency Consultations and everything is on track to reach our water saving goals.”

“By far the biggest residential water savings have been identified in people’s gardens. Adjusting watering schedules is often all it takes to make big water savings in the garden and in one home alone we found a potential saving of 2 million litres.”

Alice Springs’ parks and ovals have been getting an irrigation makeover too, with smart irrigation technology installed in 64 sites around the town.

Measuring weather elements such as temperature, humidity and rainfall, the smart system adjusts water flows and run times for each site and will save 80 million litres of water (32 Olympic swimming pools) per year.

Twenty tourist accommodation providers have had Water Efficiency Audits, with over 180 million litres of water savings (72 Olympic sized swimming pools) identified.

“These businesses are set to save $330,000 worth of water from going down the drain”, says Mark Wiltshire.

A further 35 business or non residential properties are undertaking free water efficiency audits and preparing Water Management Reports with over 213 million litres of water reductions identified.

Leak detection in 200 kilometers of Alice Springs’ largest underground water mains is underway and leak detection in general has already saved over 300 million litres (120 Olympic pools).

Wastewater treatment facilities are being upgraded to provide higher quality recycled water to new users south of The Gap and the new Kilgariff subdivision will now use recycled water to irrigation ovals when ready.

Smart water meters have been installed in homes, businesses and some schools to measure water savings, which will be ongoing for the duration of the project.

Residents and businesses have been contributing to the development of Voluntary Water Rules for Alice Springs to provide a guide for water use behaviours for all Alice Springs residents, businesses and organisations. A broader community consultation process will take place in the coming months.

The $15 million Alice Water Smart Plan is supported by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative through the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns and the Alice Water Smart consortium.

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.


For further information contact Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or