Communities and businesses plug leaks to save thousands of litres of drinking water

By Pamela Jolly 8 June 2023

Residents, schools and businesses are utilising digital meters and water saving strategies to monitor and reduce water usage, saving hundreds of dollars and precious drinking water.

Barwon Water, the Victorian Government-owned water services organisation servicing Geelong, Colac-Otway and neighbouring councils, has been working with local community to implement more efficient water management strategies with positive results.

With help from a business grant from Barwon Water, Boomaroo Nurseries has installed a water recycling plant to support its Lara based operations, enabling the replacement of over 70 percent of its peak water requirements with recycled water. The new recycling facility will help the wholesale nursery save as much as 40 mega litres (ML) (16 Olympic-sized swimming pools) of drinking quality water each year.

Boomaroo Nurseries new water recycling plant made possible with a Barwon Water grant

Daniel Jacometti of Boomaroo Nurseries said the system has helped their businesses in a few ways - with risk mitigation and quality being the two most important.

“Our reliance on town water has reduced substantially while the quality, consistency and stability of the water produced by the recycling system has improved the quality and uniformity of the product,” he said.

So far Barwon Water has provided $192,000 in business grants and rebates, with annual water savings of around 100 ML per year.

“We are investing $2.5 million over the next five years to support all customers including business customers to be more water efficient,” said Laura Kendall, Barwon Water General Manager Customers, Community and Strategy.

In the small rural town of Birregurra, Barwon Water set up a consultative water consumption program with local community members to install 400 digital water meters, which helped identify around one home in five with leaks. Many of these leaks were unknown to homeowners and repairs have helped avert further water loss. Digital meters and data loggers have also been installed in Marengo, Colac, Torquay and other locations to help inform residents, agricultural businesses and schools on their water usage.

Digital water meter installation

With increasing population growth and warmer temperatures globally, finding water efficiencies is gaining increased attention and importance worldwide.

Some countries like Switzerland, China and Japan are already moving to introduce mandatory climate disclosure for corporations and financial institutions, with some jurisdictions looking to include water disclosure. In Australia, climate-related risk disclosure requirements could be introduced as soon as early 2024 as investors and capital markets increasingly demand standardised reporting across countries.

It's encouraging to see businesses and community members already recognising the value of water and embracing measures to actively manage water consumption. As more countries move to standardise reporting on climate related risks, it will be important for more Australians to adopt sustainable practices to conserve water as an indispensable resource.

Positive Action:

Check out Planet Ark’s simple tips for saving water at home and remember to always conduct spot checks for leaks. Toilets can often be a source of an ‘invisible leak’ as they are difficult to see or hear. A leaking tap can waste as much as 5 litres an hour.

Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes

Pamela Jolly
Pamela is a Marketing Communications professional with over 10 years experience working for both agencies and organisations in communications, travel, finance and retail industries. Pamela loves to be in nature riding a bike, skiing, appreciating the trees at her local park or exploring wild places abroad with her family.