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Millions of litres of water saved, but more to be done

The two year Alice Water Smart Plan has helped to identify over 1600 million litres of water savings for Alice Springs, yet there is more to be done says the project’s manager Les Seddon.
“This is only just the beginning for the people of Alice to continue their good work”,added Les.
“There is more to be done and more opportunities to help realise further watersavings, which is why we will extend some Alice Water Smart initiatives until December 2013.”
“The project has also set up some long term legacies for water use in Alice Springs, including the creation of the Alice Water Smart Guide which was developed by the community to help residents and businesses in the future to stay water smart.”
Alice Water Smart helped identify opportunities to save water in homes, businesses, parks, ovals and tourist accommodation, as well as reducing losses from the water supply system and substituting precious drinking water with recycled water for
commercial irrigation purposes.
“What has been achieved to date is fantastic with over 500 million litres of water savings identified in Alice Springs homes alone.”
“This is equivalent to the water in 200 Alice Springs Aquatic Centre pools or an amount that would require 4,500 three-carriage road trains to carry. These road trains would stretch for 236 kilometers - that’s the potential water savings from just 1000 homes who had a Water Efficiency Consultation!”
“About 10% of all Alice Springs households participated in Alice Water Smart and with the great water savings they achieved we believe there is a huge amount of water saving opportunities for the rest of the community.”
“More than 80% of all water savings identified in homes was from leaks, inefficient irrigation design and irrigation controllers that were set inappropriately. These presented the greatest water saving opportunities.”
“In fact, one in three homes had a water leak, which was wasting over 250 kilolitres on average per home. This is more than the average Australian household uses.”
“Households were already being water smart in some areas with over 50% of pool owners having a pool cover and most people having a water smart showerhead.”
Businesses that took part in the program also made substantial water savings, with 400 million litres identified.
”We audited 50 businesses and found all of them had water leaks. The use of smart meters and specialised leak detection equipment helped identify thousands of dollars of savings for these businesses, including one business that fixed a leak that was wasting $13,700 worth of water (7.9 million litres).”
Alice Water Smart will continue several key projects until December 2013 to further help the community save water:
Alice Water Smart Homes and Businesses:
• Promote and broaden the content in the Alice Water Smart Guide to assist the community to continue to change their water use habits
• Provide follow up with homes and businesses to help them implement actions in the Alice Water Smart Guide
Alice Water Smart Reuse
• Deliver recycled water to businesses and organisations south of Heavitree Gap for irrigation use
Alice Water Smart Reticulation
• Install flow, pressure and leak monitoring equipment to better manage water losses from the water supply system.               Alice Water Smart - Smart Metering
• Provide 100 businesses and organisations and 200 households with data loggers and online access to real time water use for easy identification of leaks and to better monitor and manage their water use
“The legacy of Alice Water Smart will continue into the long term and this is the result of everyone playing their part to make Alice water smart”, says Les Seddon.
Alice Water Smart is supported by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future
initiative and the Alice Water Smart consortium.
The Alice Water Smart consortium, led by Power and Water Corporation, comprises: The Department of Land and Resource Management, Arid Lands Environment Centre, Alice Springs Town Council and Tourism NT.
For further information:
Laurelle Halford, 0417 222 211 or
Key achievements from the last 2 years include:
Alice Water Smart Homes and Businesses
In partnership with the Arid Lands Environment Centre
• $900,000 was identified as potential savings on household water bills (an average of $840 per home, per year)
• Of the residential customers who had a Water Efficiency Consultation and received water saving recommendations, 90% had fixed their leaks, 80% had made changes to their irrigation and 65% said they were taking shorter showers.
• Over 500 professional garden audits were completed
• 50 businesses and organisations received a Water Efficiency Consultation.
• More than 25 local suppliers, tradespeople, and real estate agents have been involved in supporting the Alice Water Smart Homes and Businesses initiatives
Alice Water Smart Rebates and Retrofits In partnership with the Department of Land Resource Management
• Over $700k in WaterWise rebates were used by homes and businesses to improve water efficiency, including 800 toilet upgrades, 1200 front loader washing machines and just over 500 tap and toilet leaks were fixed using plumbing rebates.
• 8 Alice Springs schools have received a water audit and are improving their water
Alice Water Smart Parks and Ovals
• New smart water irrigation technology systems have been installed at 72 parks & ovals across Alice Springs in partnership with the Alice Springs Town Council.
• In one year the project will save 80 million litres of water (36 Alice Springs Aquatic
• The first seasonal storm (November 2012) resulted in 14 million litres saved.
Alice Water Smart Accommodation
• 20 accommodation providers have had Water Efficiency Audits in partnership with Tourism NT, with over 180 million litres of water savings (82 Alice Springs Aquatic Centres) identified.
Alice Water Smart Reuse and Reticulation
• Existing wastewater treatment facilities are being upgraded to provide higher quality recycled water.
• Tanks and pipelines have been constructed to deliver higher quality recycled water to new users south of The Gap for irrigation use.
• The new Kilgariff subdivision will now use recycled water to irrigate ovals when ready.
• Leak detection of 200kms of large water mains resulted in over 50 leaks being repaired, saving 30 million litres.
• Permanent flow and pressure monitoring equipment and pressure management valves to assist leak detection and pressure management is being installed around Alice to prevent water losses.
• Overall, leak detection and reduction has saved over 330 million litres (150 Alice Springs Aquatic Centres) so far.
Alice Water Smart - Smart Metering
• Smart water meters are being installed in homes, businesses and some schools to monitor water use.
• Smart meters are helping to achieve 860 million litres in residential water savings and 245 million litres in businesses water savings.