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We're pleased to announce Ocean Keys Shopping Centre and Perth Zoo have been awarded Platinum Waterwise Business of the Year for 2020. Both businesses have shown an outstanding commitment to water efficiency by implementing new initiatives and ingraining a water-saving mentality in everyday operations.

In light of climate change and less rainfall saving water is shared responsibility. We support and encourage business, councils and residents to do their bit and reduce their water use where they can. Whether you own a Zoo or a small family home, most water saving tips can work for both! Here are a few tips you can action at home from our Platinum Waterwise businesses.

Be on the lookout for leaks

Last year over 8 billion litres of water was lost to leaks. One of the simplest but most effective ways to save water is finding and fixing leaks.

Established in 1898, Perth Zoo has continually transformed to service the needs of its visitors and residents. However, behind the scenes, ageing infrastructure was becoming prone to leaks and bursts. In 2015, the Zoo launched a multi-million dollar project to upgrade their ageing infrastructure and meters. Through this project, they were able to prevent excessive water loss and encourage water reuse across the site.

Perth Zoo Mainlake Enclosure areaPerth Zoo has focused on upgrading infrastructure to prevent water loss and encourages water recycling to maintain diverse animal habitats.

Ocean Keys have leak detection representatives to check indoors and outdoors on a regular basis. They encourage staff, tenants and contractors to remain vigilant and report any leaks as soon as possible.

Save water with every flush

Since the centre opened, Ocean Keys have been committed to minimising their environmental footprint. In 2014, the centre installed Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) rated fixtures and tapware across all toilets and parent rooms.

Perth Zoo has also made the switch to waterwise fixtures and fittings in all their facilities. All toilets for both staff and customers now have a minimum 3-star WELS rating. Installing a water efficient, dual-flush toilet can save up to 80 litres of water per day, meaning money and water is saved with every flush.

Get savvy with garden design

Gardens can be water guzzlers. To keep gardens green and healthy in a waterwise way, Perth Zoo and Ocean Keys have implemented a clever combination of low and high tech solutions.

The Zoo needs to maintain diverse animal habitats and green spaces. To achieve this while reducing their reliance on treated scheme water, the Zoo uses groundwater to irrigate their grounds. State-of-the-art smart irrigation controllers help them ensure just the right amount of water is used. The smart controllers can access local weather data and are capable of automatically switching off the Zoo’s sprinklers on rainy day.

The zoo has hydrozoned their gardens to improve their water efficiency. Hydrozoning involves grouping plants with similar water needs together in the garden to prevent overwatering. This clever landscaping idea can easily be replicated in your own backyard and is a fantastic way to create both a beautiful and water efficient garden.

The garden hacks don’t stop there! Ocean Keys has recently become a mulch convert, describing it as an easy to way to create a good-looking garden while saving on the water bill. Mulching helps by maintaining moisture around the plant’s roots and can save up to 20% of water used for irrigation. However not all mulch is made equal; make sure you select the right one for your garden to get the most bang for your buck.

Ocean Keys Shopping Centre in Perth Western AustraliaOcean Keys Shopping Centre has implemented a clever combination of low and high tech solutions to keep outdoor areas green and healthy.

Creative solutions for complex problems

With hotter summers and drier winters, it’s essential we innovate and find more ways to save water.

Perth Zoo showed some great creative thinking when redesigning the breeding facility for the critically endangered Western Swamp Tortoise. The Zoo is home to nearly 50 tortoise ponds which can use up to 50,000 litres of water per day during winter. After a recent redesign, much of the water is now recycled back into other Zoo exhibits and water bodies and recharged back into groundwater. Thanks to the redesign and ongoing water use monitoring, last winter, water use reduced by 25%. And the tortoises were none the wiser!

As part of our program, Ocean Keys Shopping Centre made the decision to confront their biggest water user, their cooling towers. Cooling towers are commonly used as part of air-conditioning systems and can account for up to 50% of a business’ water use. Ocean Keys trialled switching off the cooling towers during winter, allowing them to save a significant amount of water during the winter period.

We encourage everyone to get creative and make those extra water savings around your house. Whether it’s keeping your shower times in check with our 4-minute shower playlist or re-using water on your houseplants, there’s a little bit more we could all do to protect our most precious resource. With over 15 waterwise businesses getting innovative and achieving big water savings, there's plenty of inspiration available to help us all do our bit!

Learn more how waterwise businesses are saving water