Waterwise Council Program

Take fresh steps to improve water use in your council and the community with the Waterwise Council Program.

Together with Department of Water, we launched the Waterwise Council Program in 2009 to build a cooperative working relationship with local governments to improve water use efficiency in their industry and their communities.

Climate change and predictions of reduced water availability present significant challenges if you're responsible for planning and managing our water resources.

Local government is a high water user and your council has the opportunity to lead in promoting efficient and effective water management in your community.

The following councils are waterwise:

  • Shire of Ashburton
  • Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
  • City of Bayswater
  • City of Belmont
  • Town of Cambridge
  • Shire of Capel
  • Town of Claremont
  • City of Cockburn
  • Town of Cottesloe
  • City of Joondalup
  • Shire of Kalamunda
  • City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
  • City of Kwinana
  • Shire of Leonora
  • City of Mandurah
  • City of Melville
  • Shire of Merredin
  • Town of Mosman Park
  • Shire of Mundaring
  • Shire of Murray
  • City of Nedlands    
  • City of Perth
  • Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale
  • City of South Perth
  • City of Subiaco
  • City of Swan
  • Shire of Toodyay
  • City of Vincent

The following councils are working towards endorsement:

  • City of Albany
  • Town of Bassendean
  • Shire of Bruce Rock    
  • City of Canning
  • Carnarvon Shire Council
  • Shire of Corrigin
  • Shire of Cranbrook
  • Shire of Denmark
  • Shire of Exmouth
  • City of Fremantle
  • Shire of Goomalling
  • Shire of Halls Creek
  • Shire of Harvey
  • City of Karratha
  • Shire of Kojonup
  • Shire of Koorda
  • Shire of Lake Grace
  • Shire of Mt Marshall
  • Shire of Mukinbudin
  • Shire of Northam
  • Shire of Nungarin
  • Shire of Plantagenet
  • Town of Port Hedland
  • City of Rockingham
  • City of Stirling
  • Shire of Trayning
  • Town of Victoria Park
  • City of Wanneroo
  • Shire of Wyalkatchem
  • Shire of York

Your council will benefit from this program by:

  • gaining a better understanding of council water use
  • potential water and financial savings through improved efficiency
  • free specialist waterwise training courses for appropriate council staff
  • access to waterwise materials on water efficiency and conservation
  • utilising waterwise branding to promote your council as a sustainable water manager
  • access to services such as data logging.

The Waterwise Council Program is free to join and is open to all councils within Western Australia.

To be endorsed as a Waterwise Council, a council must fulfill the relevant program criteria:

Program Overview and Criteria

Waterwise Council Program Endorsement Assessment Checklist

Water efficient landscape and irrigation

This is an online training module, which has been tailored for local government staff such as grounds keepers, parks and maintenance staff, customer service and administration staff. It covers:

  • effective gardening techniques
  • plant selection
  • soil preparation and mulching
  • irrigation.

Find out more

Water auditing for non residential facilities

This is an online training module that provides participants with sufficient water auditing skills to analyse and report on water use at simple, non residential sites. It covers:

  • internal water auditing process
  • basics on how to conduct an audit to determine water savings
  • how to develop a recommendation plan.

 Find out more 

Cooling tower water efficiency online training

Cooling towers are important components of many cooling systems in large commercial facilities and often consume large amounts of water. This course has been developed to provide you with a better understanding of opportunities to save water in existing cooling tower systems in commercial facilities.

Find out more

See how other councils are leading the way with their water efficiency initiatives.

Read case studies

If you would like to register for the Waterwise Council Program or to find out more please email us at water.efficiency@watercorporation.com.au or the Department of Water at efficiency@water.wa.gov.au

Frequently asked questions

Click on the headings below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding changes to the program criteria:

We are participating in the ICLEI Water Campaign, what is happening to this program? 

The ICLEI Water Campaign ceased as of 30 June 2015. ICLEI’s role in water efficiency and quality management will refocus with an emphasis on biodiversity. The Waterwise Council Program will continue to provide support to improve water efficiency for Western Australian councils. 

Our council is already endorsed as Waterwise, how do the changes apply to us?

If your council was a participant of the ICLEI Water Campaign and you wish to maintain your recognition as a Waterwise Council then you are required to re-commit to the new criteria in the program by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding.

All endorsed Waterwise Councils and those participating in the program will be required to complete a new Water Efficiency Action Plan. Action Plans must be complete, endorsed by Council, and submitted to Water Corporation by 31 October 2016, in order for the council to be re-endorsed in 2016–17.

We are working towards endorsement, which criteria will apply?

All councils currently working towards endorsement will be required to meet the requirements of the new framework to be considered for Waterwise endorsement. 

Additionally, if your council was a participant of the ICLEI Water Campaign, then you are required to re-commit to the new criteria in the program by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding. 

When do the changes come into effect?

The new criteria became application to councils joining the program from 1 November 2015.

Endorsed and participating councils that were part of the ICLEI Water Campaign will be required to sign and submit a new Memorandum of Understanding by 31 March 2016.

All endorsed councils will be required to submit a new Water Efficiency Action Plan by 31 October 2016.

We already have an action plan in place from when we first joined the ICLEI Water Campaign, do we need to complete a new action plan?

As many of the action plans developed for the ICLEI Water Campaign were developed more than 5 years ago, we require all councils develop a new Water Efficiency Action Plan. This is to so we have consistent reporting across the program. The Action Plan will enable councils to set new benchmarks and targets for annual reporting and offers an opportunity for councils to review their water consumption and management practices since joining the program.

It is recommended that previous action plans be added as an appendix to the new plan as reference.

We already have a water management strategy or plan documented; do we need to use the provided template?

The template has been designed as a guide for councils to develop a water efficiency management plan if the council does not already have one in place. It has not been intended to duplicate plans or strategies that already exist. Should you already have a water management plan or strategy that outlines targets and actions to improve water efficiency, that can be reported on annually, this will be acceptable to meet criteria for this program.

Some of the required actions in the Water Efficiency Action Plan template are not achievable or relevant to our council, how do we address these?

If the listed required actions are not achievable or relevant for your council, please provide evidence that the actions have been investigated and comments on why they cannot be met.

Will there be support available to help us complete the new documents?

Water Corporation and Department of Water will assist in providing updated information for councils to complete their new action plans. If you require clarification or further assistance to complete the documents, please contact us via water.efficiency@watercorporation.com.au or phone (08) 9420 2706.  

Does the Water Management team referred to in criteria 1.2 need to be a formally recognised team?

The Water Management team is not required to be a formal body, rather it is intended to identify which staff members are involved in water management across the organisation. For example, the council Sustainability Officer may be the main point of contact for the program, but may consult with the Parks and Gardens Manager, or Community Development Officer in carrying out water management activities. 

How many resources should we dedicate to administer the program?

The intent of the program is to recognise councils that implement water management as part of business as usual rather than have a specific resource dedicated to carry out all actions. While we require the council to nominate a program contact the Water Management Team should take ownership of the actions in the Water Efficiency Action plan where relevant and assist in updating the plan to ensure the council is progressing towards the targets. We have a dedicated resource that can assist in providing updated water consumption data as well as support to help complete the Water Efficiency Action plans and the annual re-endorsement reports as required. 

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