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Whether it’s an aquatic centre, retirement village or an office, every organisation can make a difference when it comes to being waterwise. Small, sustainable changes each day can yield big rewards. Several organisations were recognised for their efforts at this year’s Waterwise Recognition event.

Together with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, we're proud to celebrate the success of organisations involved in our five non-residential Waterwise programs.

Waterwise Business Program Winners

The coveted Waterwise Platinum Business of the Year has been awarded to RAAFA Merriwa Estate

Residents and staff work together to save water.

Retirement village RAAFA Merriwa Estate has had a long-term commitment to efficient water management and innovative technologies. The 240-unit village and aged care facility logs any leaks within the day. Staff and residents are encouraged to report any dripping taps. Water data is closely monitored for anomalies and investigated promptly. Small but consistent actions have resulted in a reduction in water consumption for 2022/23. 

Unit refurbishments and tap replacements in the ageing properties has seen a drop in water usage. Two new bores have reduced the facility’s reliance on scheme water.

Tip: If you live in an older house, it's likely your shower and tap fittings aren't as water efficient as newer models. Check out how you can save water by retrofitting your property with waterwise fittings, fixtures and appliances. 

RAAFA Merriwa Estate
RAAFA Merriwa Estate. 

Waterwise Council Program Winner

City of Mandurah is this year’s Council of the Year. A Gold Waterwise Council for 8 years, this is the second time City of Mandurah has been awarded Platinum Waterwise Council after winning in 2017. 

Making the most of resources in Mandurah

Following community consultation, the under-utilised Kangaroo Paw Park was revamped. Tree retention and new plantings enhanced the park’s natural environment. Shelter, improved access, a drink fountain, and play equipment has made the park safer and user friendly. Garden beds were hydro zoned and a bore drilled as part of the Managed Aquifer Recharge recycled water project.

Considered as a Global Biodiversity Hotspot, the region has many plants not found anywhere else. Following extensive community engagement, the City of Mandurah developed its Environment Strategy 2023-2033. Residents said they wanted their local nature restored and protected for generations to come. The strategy provides a clear direction and priorities for the future. 

The City’s 20 urban lakes filter stormwater and provide habitat and freshwater for wildlife. A monitoring program identified that poor water quality had harmed wildlife. The 'Love Our Lakes' workshops were designed to educate and gain the support of residents to improve water quality. Residents planted 400 rushes at 2 lakes during the workshops.

Kangaroo Paw Park
Kangaroo Paw Park, Mandurah.

Tip: If you're planning a makeover of your garden, check out the waterwise garden design plans for Perth/South West. For those living north of Perth, there are the Mid West garden designs and North West garden designs

Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program

Wanneroo Aquamotion was awarded this year's platinum Waterwise Aquatic Centre award

Moving towards a more sustainable centre

Wanneroo Aquamotion has seen visitor numbers almost triple in 4 years. But the team’s commitment to water conservation hasn’t seen a corresponding increase in water usage. 

Plant room upgrades and renewals have reduced the centre’s water and energy requirements. The new ultraviolet disinfection system is one of the most sustainable and chemical controllers provide precise metering. The new equipment has resulted in fewer top ups, reduced backwashing and chemical dosing. Proactive leak detection through a real-time web-based dashboard tracks water usage. Sensors help with early detection and allows for repairs or replacements before major works are required.

Upgrades to change rooms and a new dry changing room for large groups has also reduced water use. The upgrade includes top-rated WELS sinks, shower, toilet fixtures and fittings. Pool deck open air showers with tap timers has led to much shorter showers.
New smart water fountains have sensors that cut off the water once patrons remove the bottle. The electronic counters show that refills have saved 40,000 plastic water bottles. 

Wanneroo Aquamotion
Wanneroo Aquamotion.
Tip: It's easy to spot a water leak at home with our 15 minute leak detection test

Waterwise Buildings Program

This year's platinum Waterwise Buildings winner was building manager Knight Frank for Workzone East at 1 Nash Street, Perth. 

Workzone East takes out multiple awards

The 7 storey Workzone East building has achieved impressive sustainability and water savings. 

The building’s owners and manager created a 5-year sustainability roadmap. The strategy is to improve performance in energy and water efficiencies, indoor environment quality and waste reduction. Tenant wellbeing and engagement now and in the future was also considered. 

The building was the first commercial office to achieve carbon neutrality in WA in 2021. Over 1.1 million litres of water have been saved through several innovative and best practice initiatives. A new energy and water management reporting system, GEMS, was introduced. GEMS sends regular reports tracking current performance against the target NABERS rating. The system includes a 24/7 fault detection notification system. In 9 months, GEMS and 20 submeters identified 100 faults, saving 840,000 litres of water.  

A trial of waterless urinals on one floor estimated a 20% water reduction so the other floors were upgraded. Energy efficient heat pump systems have replaced two gas boilers in the End of Trip Facilities.

Cooling towers accounted for around 40% of the building’s total water usage. New sets of float valves and filtration pump have reduced the amount. The extensive roof area supports a 99 kW Solar PV system capable of generating 150,000 kWh of electricity per annum. 

Workzone East Building
Workzone East building.

Tip: Showers consume large quantities of water in the average home. Replacing existing showerheads with WELS 4 star rated modules can reduce the flow rate by over 50%.

Waterwise Development Program

East Village at Knutsford by Development WA was awarded the platinum Waterwise Development Program award. 

Fremantle industrial site turns green

As one of WA’s most sustainable developments, the Fremantle site shows how we can live with a tiny carbon footprint. The 1.5-hectare former industrial area has been transformed into 36 mixed-use dwellings. 

The estate is designed to use 80% less scheme water than the average property. A 7kL underground rainwater tank is plumbed into the property’s toilets, washing machine and hot water heat pump system. A strata bore scheme irrigates the landscaping, verges and private courtyard gardens. 

The landscape is a water sensitive urban design (WSUD). It includes rain gardens, permeable paving, verge infiltration swales and below-road infiltration galleries. The design supports retention and infiltration of water on site to recharge the aquifer and create a heat resilient landscape. Careful planting provides shade on walkways and deciduous trees optimise winter solar gain for homes.

The estate uses technology for maximum renewable energy opportunities using the latest technology. Electric vehicle fast charging, solar panels and battery storage are some of the green benefits. Any backup grid energy comes from renewable sources. A water and energy sub-metering system will provide visual data for residents.

Communal seating and barbeque facilities are designed to bring neighbours together. The fruit and nut trees provide residents with more opportunities to interact.

East Village at Knutsford
East Village at Knutsford.

Tip: For more tips on being waterwise inside and outside your home, see our Waterwise advice