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Water Corporation Regional Manager Sharon Broad, DoC Regional Executive Director Neila Williams and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel at a property that's recently been retrofitted
Water Corporation Regional Manager Sharon Broad, Department of Communities Executive Director Neila Williams and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel at a recently retrofitted property

  • Water-saving support for most vulnerable in Western Australia’s North-West
  • Project to retrofit public housing properties with water-efficient fixtures and repair leaks
  • Households expected to save on average 80,000 litres of water and up to $220 on bills per year
  • Part of a $26 million investment from McGowan Government over five years

More than 300 public housing tenants in Roebourne, Wickham, Halls Creek, Karratha and Exmouth will have their homes retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures from November under the McGowan Government’s Waterwise Public Housing Project.

A partnership between Water Corporation and the Department of Communities, the project supports public housing tenants across the State to reduce household water use and lower their water bills.

To further improve water efficiency, water audits are conducted at the properties to identify internal plumbing leaks and inefficient fixtures prior to retrofitting.

As part of the program, Department of Communities Housing Service Officers will also provide waterwise education to tenants, helping improve their water literacy and embed long-term water saving changes.

The project was successfully piloted in 2019 before a $26 million expansion in 2021 aimed at retrofitting 10,000 Department of Communities properties over a five-year period.

The project’s first phase targeted properties in the metro area with high water use. While work will continue across Perth and Peel, properties in regional Western Australia will now be in focus.

Since its inception, the project has saved 244 million litres of precious water across the State and reduced household water bills by an average $220 per year (before concessions). 

The Waterwise Public Housing Project continues as an initiative under the WA Government’s Kep Katitjin - Gabi Kaadadjan (Waterwise Perth Action Plan 2), announced earlier this week. The second iteration of the plan builds on the success of the first in transitioning Perth and Peel to waterwise, liveable and sustainable communities.

Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:

The project is a cross-Government collaboration aimed at saving precious drinking water, while also delivering lower water bills for our State’s most vulnerable.

“Tenants are also equipped with better water literacy and how to personally implement waterwise measures to reduce water use in their homes.

“Through this fantastic initiative over 244 million litres of water have been saved, and this will increase as the project continues to roll out across WA, supporting our State’s long-term water supply.”

Comments attributed to Housing Minister John Carey:

“The Department of Communities, in collaboration with Water Corporation, continue to overhaul public housing properties across the State to be more water efficient.

“In 2019, the McGowan Government made a commitment that no Western Australian public housing tenant should pay higher bills because of inefficient fixtures, low water literacy or household water leaks.

“Properties are retrofitted with water efficient fixtures, and audited for leaks, while tenants are educated on water saving measures to reduce their water use at home.

“Public housing tenants in regional towns in the North-West will soon see the benefits of this project, with average water use savings of $220 per year.”

Comments attributed to Member for Pilbara Kevin Michel:

“This is a great initiative for saving water throughout the Pilbara, and retrofitting these water-efficient fixtures will not only save on water waste, but will also save local households an average of $220 annually.

“This initiative will service public houses throughout Roebourne, Wickham and Karratha, and I am pleased to see the implementation and expansion of this project throughout the Pilbara.”

Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna:

“This is a much-welcomed project which will save public housing tenants in Halls Creek money and the benefit of saving our precious water resources cannot be overstated.

“This joint collaboration is a great initiative and I am happy knowing that the water audits to identify plumbing leaks and inefficient fixtures will be done prior to the retrofitting. I am pleased to see the McGowan Government continuing to provide essential upgrades in the North-West.”