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Local returns to Alice Springs to champion water - 06 March 2012

On average, Alice Springs households use about three times as much water as the Australian national average for households, so where’s the extra water going? Jethro Laidlaw says it is lost in just a few key areas in the home and he should know – he grew up in Alice Springs and has returned to his home town to take on water conservation with Alice Water Smart.

“I’m from Alice and interested in its long term future. I lived interstate and got used to the ‘save water’ attitude and knew that in Alice Springs there are a lot of misconceptions held by the community about our water so I decided to get involved.”

“After being involved in over140 water efficiency consultations in Alice Springs homes it’s surprising how just a few areas around the home account for a large proportion of a household’s total water use”, says Jethro.

“People are constantly surprised when they find out how much water can be saved by making really easy adjustments in the home and garden. Take swampy bleed rates for example. By adjusting the bleed rate to an efficient setting (we recommend 10 – 15 L and hour) we've identified savings over 100,000 litres a year in many homes."

 “Of course fixing leaks saves water, but people are always surprised at how much, with savings of over a million litres identified in a number of homes.

“But by far the biggest water savings have been identified in the garden. Just by adjusting watering schedules, we’ve identified over 2 million litres in savings in ONE home alone, and over a million litres in savings in several other homes. All of these massive water savings don’t affect people’s lifestyles, and people are amazed at how easy it is.”

“My advice to people is to take advantage of the free home water efficiency consultations while they are available, which will not only save water and money, but you could also end up with your garden doing much better too.”

“Understand your garden’s water needs, adjust your swampy bleed, fix leaks and take advantage of the great rebates available to get yourself a modern shower head and other water efficient home goods.”

Jethro is one of the water consultants who will come to your home if you book an Alice Water Smart home water efficiency consultation and he says the biggest benefit of receiving a tailored consultation is knowledge.

“If you know where your water is going and what can be done to reduce your use without compromising your lifestyle you can make better informed decisions.”

The Alice Springs community is getting on board with over 140 water efficiency consultations having been completed so far. Jethro Laidlaw says he’s done consults with office workers, tradies, families and singles.

“We’ve got a really diverse town and I can honestly say there isn’t any sector that hasn’t taken advantage of our free service.

To register for an Alice Water Smart Home Water Efficiency Consultation call 8953 1030 or visit to find out more.


For more information, image and interviews please contact Laurelle Halford, Creative Territory on 0417 222 211

Who is involved in Alice Water Smart?

Alice Water Smart is a $15 million plan supported by the Australian Government through the Water for the Future initiative. It is led by local consortium members who include Power and Water Corporation, the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport, Alice Springs Town Council, the Arid Lands Environment Centre and Tourism NT.