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New research shows overwatering biggest culprit in Alice water waste – 13 August 2012

More than half the water wasted in Alice Springs is through overwatering gardens, new research
Analysis of more than 369 Alice Water Smart water efficiency consultations in homes over the
past year reveals that 56 per cent of water waste--an average of 190 000 litres of water per
house, per year - is from watering gardens too much.
A further 25% - or an average of 83 000 litres per house per year - is wasted through leaks that
people are not aware of.
The findings are being presented today at an Alice Water Smart nursery and garden suppliers
industry breakfast, with special guest Gardening Australia presenter Costa Georgiadis.
“We’ve always known that around two thirds of household water is used in Alice Springs gardens,
more than anywhere else in the home,” said Alice Water Smart Homes and Business project
manager Liz Locksley.
“Now we’ve been able to break it down even more. Our consultants determine the correct water
needs of the plants in each part of the garden and generally find that the homeowner is using
much more water than necessary.”
“This analysis of findings shows just how much water could be saved if everyone used their
irrigation systems to the best advantage and watered according to plant need.
“We’ve found that the crucial skill people need help with is how long and how often to water each
plant type – whether it’s natives, fruit trees and other exotics, lawns or veggie patches.
“By watering more deeply, less often, the roots get stronger, the plant is healthier and you’ll be
doing your bit to help make Alice water smart.”
Ms Locksley said nurseries, gardeners and irrigation suppliers are vital in helping people better
understand the watering needs of their garden because they are the experts who can advise
customers on the best options for their situation.
Other findings from the research include:
• If everyone in Alice Springs showered for one minute less each day, it would save 104
million litres of water a year
• If everyone in Alice Springs fixed their leaks promptly, it would save an estimated 830
million litres a year
• Smart watering in an average garden would save the water equivalent of 310 hours
under the shower over a year
• People who received free Water Efficiency Consultations through Alice Water Smart
homes were overwhelmingly satisfied or very satisfied with the service
• Further water savings can be found by upgrading appliances, such as toilets,
showerheads and washing machines, running swampies efficiently and having water
smart habits, like using pool covers and taking shorter showers
The nursery industry breakfast is one of number of initiatives under Alice Water Smart, a 2-year
project to save 1,600 million litres of water a year and extend the life of the town’s groundwater
supply, sourced from Mereenie Aquifer.
Alice Water Smart offers free Home Water Efficiency Consultations, free Garden Watering
Assessments for eligible higher users, business water efficiency audits and residents can access
NT Government Waterwise rebates for a range of water efficiency upgrades.
Alice Water Smart is supported by the Australian Government Water for the Future Initiative. The
Homes and Business project is proudly delivered by the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
For more information or to book a Water Efficiency Consultation for your home, visit or call 8953 1030.
For further information contact Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or