The Central Regional TAFE slashed water consumption by 85% by implementing a highly successful and innovative water management program. They've also established a water management working group to focus on water use, new initiatives and report progress towards their Water Efficiency Management Plan actions.

Key achievements

  • 85% water use reduction
  • Working group formed
  • 55 million litres of water saved

Why we acted

"We’ve learnt that having water restrictions does not mean sacrificing garden, sporting facilities or our business. The TAFE is delighted with the official recognition of winning the Water Management Award. It is a testament to our staff and our direction and future strategies relating to water efficiency"  Mr Bill Swetman, Managing Director, Central Regional TAFE.

As a result of using over 20,000 kilolitres a year, the TAFE was required to take part in the Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP) program.

How we did it

Significant water savings came from a $160,000 Aquifer Storage Recovery system. Rain water is captured from roofs and car parks and is used to recharge a natural aquifer that is drawn upon when required during the warmer summer months for reticulation of lawns and gardens.

This involves tapping into a fresh water ‘lens’ that has been created through rainwater drainage into a naturally occurring sump above saline groundwater. The system incorporates four bores and two 150 kilolitres storage tanks. Building and Construction students built the pump house, while Environmental Science students are involved in analysing the system’s water quality and use level.

What we are doing now

Recently we planted a water smart lawn in the main quadrangle to replace an existing lawn. The new lawn incorporates water holding soil and sub-surface irrigation operated by moisture sensors.

We have established a culture of sustainability among our staff and students. Our sustainability key performance indicators include those for maintenance or reduction of water use, implementation and monitoring of water audit findings.