The City of Melville was awarded the Waterwise Council status at a recognition event on 5 August 2010. The Department of Water, Water Corporation and ICLEI Oceania Waterwise Council program offers endorsement to councils working towards managing water resources more efficiently and effectively.
To become a Waterwise Council, the City of Melville had to achieve or demonstrate the following:
- Achieve Milestones 1-3 of the ICLEI Water Campaign
- Ensure staff attend Waterwise training
- Review irrigation practices on council grounds and public open space
- Have no breaches of water licence terms or conditions
- No scheme water usage breach notices.
To maintain Waterwise Council status the City must:
- Implement a further two water efficiency actions from the ICLEI Local Action Plan
- Continue to audit top water-using sites and implement 50% of audit recommendations
- Ensure new, relevant staff have undertaken Waterwise training
- Continue reporting on water efficiency targets and performance in the Council's annual report.
- Quantify water savings (including both scheme water and groundwater.
The ICLEI Water Campaign is an international freshwater management program which aims to build the capacity of local governments to reduce water consumption and improve local water quality, through achievement of the following milestones:
- Milestone 1: Complete an inventory of water consumption and a water quality practices gap analysis
- Milestone 2: Set goals to improve water management
- Milestone 3: Develop a local action plan that defines the strategic direction and the actions council will take to achieve the goals
- Milestone 4: Implement local action plan and quantify the benefits of actions implemented
- Milestone 5: Monitor and report on water consumption reductions, water quality improvements, water management initiatives and progress towards Council's goals.
The City of Melville has achieved Milestone 5 and proudly received a Water Campaign Award at the ICLEI Oceania 'Decade of Action' and Waterwise Awards Breakfast held on Thursday, 2nd August 2012.
City of Melville Acting Mayor Clive Robartson received the award, saying: The City has significantly reduced its demand on precious water supplies and is one of a growing number of local governments in Australia tackling the challenge of sustainable water resource management by working with ICLEI Oceania, through the Water Campaign.
We are working with all levels of government and addressing climate change and the significant effects this has on our local environment, society, economy and the Local Government sector.
The completion of Milestone 5 recognises the Citys continuous improvement in water management practices and sustainable water management in its day to day operations.
Western Australia's population is growing and we are experiencing lower than average rainfall. This has contributed to a drop in stream flow to dams and increased reliance on groundwater and desalination. Understanding how we use water can help to conserve our water resources. Recent research by the Water Corporation indicates that Perth residents use 106,000 litres of water per person per household each year. While the amount of water an average person in Perth uses has reduced from 128,000 litres in 2000/01, Perth remains one of the highest water using cities in Australia per capita.
Residential water use accounts for 71% of all scheme water use therefore, collectively, households have the greatest potential to make a significant contribution to reducing Perth's overall water use.
We pour over 40% of our good quality drinking water onto gardens, while one quarter of household water consumption is used in showers and baths. We flush 9% of our household water down the toilet followed by 7% used for washing machines, 6% through taps, 4% for evaporative air conditioning, while a further 4% is lost through leaks.
You can save water at home by:
- Updating thirsty gardens with water-wise, native plants, and replacing irrigation with more efficient systems.
- Plant out in late Autumn / Winter.
- Use compost to improve the soil, add mulch and use soil wetting agents to allow water to reach the roots of plants where soils become water repellent.
- Stick to your rostered watering days.
- Replace shower heads with AAA-rated shower heads and take shorter showers - aim for 4 minutes.
- Add aerators to taps.
- Update inefficient single flush toilet cisterns with AAA-rated dual-flush toilets, which use 3 litres on a half flush compared to 12 litres for a single flush toilet.
- Choose a water efficient washing machine when upgrading and consider using grey-water from your washing machine to water your garden.
- Make sure you choose a detergent with no or low phosphorus and low salt content to avoid polluting our waterways and causing stress to your garden plants.
- Checking for undetected leaks by first making sure everything is turned off and record a reading from your water meter. Take another reading around 15 minutes later. If you notice a change, there is a leak somewhere. Call in a plumber for advice on locating it. Fix any noticeable leaking taps, toilets and appliances as soon as possible.
For further information on water conservation visit the Water Corporation website.