The waterwise council recognition scheme acknowledges councils that are demonstrating leadership in sustainable water management.
Councils awarded as part of the recognition scheme were acknowledged at the 2019 Waterwise Recognition Event, co-hosted by Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on 1 May 2019.
2019 Platinum Waterwise Council
The City of Canning has displayed outstanding commitment towards creating a waterwise community. The council has created a vision for a Water Sensitive Canning to embed water resilience into business-as-usual. They have also undertaken extensive community engagement through a range of sustainability and waterwise programs, projects and events such as:
- offering free Sustainability Audits to high water using households
- retrofitted aged care facilities with water efficient fittings
- increasing urban amenity around the city, and ran a succulent streetscape trial using low to no water, as well using stormwater to irrigate new garden beds and new street trees.
The following councils delivered a range of fantastic initiatives. We have included highlights from their award nominations below.
In partnership with Water Corporation and the SNRM, the City of Canning has converted the Lambertia Creek drainage channel to a living stream. Benefits from this project include rehabilitation of degraded grassland, improved habitat for local flora and fauna, improved water quality into the Canning River, reduced erosion, reduced maintenance and improved natural aesthetic. Initially, 21,000 seedlings were planted over the 0.8ha area. Additionally, thousands of seedlings will be planted at this site over the next few years.
A new garden in Sculpture Park is a two-for-one: both firewise and
waterwise. The Shire of Mundaring created the garden with small,
waterwise native plants that don’t drop flammable material and gravel
paths to increase bushfire safety. The shire even hosted a free
demonstration to show residents how to create waterwise, firewise
gardens of their own at home.
Bassendean’s parks and reserves are smarter thanks to an upgrade to the Town’s irrigation control system which allows staff, with the touch of a button, to set irrigation schedules and turn off sprinklers when rain is forecast. The installation of the smart irrigation controller allows staff to save time, money and water. Since the installation, the Town has saved over 20% in groundwater usage and remains 30% below its allocation limits.
The Town of Victoria Park is committed to improving the water efficiency of its high profile active reserves. Harold Rossiter Reserve is used all year round as a sporting oval however; its irrigation system was outdated and relied on scheme water for irrigating the wicket blocks. In 2018, they redesigned and upgraded the reserves irrigation system, including hydro zoning the playing fields from surrounding passive turf areas and converted the turf cricket wicket block to bore water by incorporating a variable frequency drive. This improved water distribution over the entirety of the reserve and has reduced potable water usage by 44%.
The City of Rockingham has engaged a local nursery, Carramar Coastal Nursery, to facilitate a City funded giveaway of 10,000 native waterwise plants to residents. Residents will be able to collect a maximum of 10 plants per household during the first week of May. The number of plants to be given away has more than tripled since last year to enable more residents to reduce water use in their gardens.
The Town of Mosman Park has achieved water reductions by the installation of smart controllers, an automated weather station and the inception of a new reticulation contract which has seen new programming and approaches to irrigation practices. The weather station assists in the programming and matching of evapotranspiration and output of water and upgraded controllers to allow syncing with the weather station.
The City of Fremantle installed an interval meter at the City’s depot and identified a leak that started small but was growing. The leak was below ground and there was no indication that it was occurring – the City wouldn’t have found it without the data logging. If the leak had got worse it could have caused structural damage to the building. Having the data logger saved the City 3,000kL and $7,800 per year.
The City of Stirling’s Central Irrigation Management System (CIMS) enables precise irrigation scheduling and control citywide. CIMS receives information from six weather stations, soil moisture sensors and probes, and rain cut-off switches to accurately control irrigation events in response to local climatic conditions in real-time. As a result, water is used only when and where it is needed to maintain the grass fit for purpose. 1,550,000kL saved on average per year for the past 20 years.
The City of Joondalup's weather stations measure air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, atmospheric pressure, yearly rainfall, solar radiation and evapotranspiration. The three weather stations are linked to controllers and flow meters being installed within the City’s 369 irrigated parks through the SignalCloud enabling the City to remotely control the City’s irrigation systems based on real-time weather data and set irrigation programs linked to weather station data saving both water and power.
The City of Vincent souped up a ‘sump’ drain, transforming it into a bright, liveable park. The Lawler Street site now boasts waterwise nature play elements, solar lighting and native plants that are also edible! Once the plants have fully grown, the City will put up signs to educate residents about the edible species and encourage them to use native plants in their own gardens.
The City of Swan has 18 new Friends Groups that have contributed over 5,000 hours of volunteer time (valued at $140,000). They undertake litter removal, tree planting and restoration works in local bushland reserves. With the City’s support, the number of Friends Groups has grown from 9 to 27 groups in two years and have been successful in obtaining over $172,000 in funding grants to improve their reserves and waterways.
The installation of a monitoring system at Bold Park Aquatic Centre helped identify a leak in the main water tank. Further ongoing savings have been achieved by optimising the backwashing protocols. Monthly reports are compiled for the separate units, including the Main Plantroom, The Leisure Plant Room and the Main Building tracking changes and prompting remedial actions. Waterwise plants were installed and Waterwise posters are in place to remind patrons to use less water.
By installing a monitoring system and actively monitoring water consumption an initial saving of 40% was achieved, reducing the annual scheme water consumption by 5,799kL between 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.
The City of Subiaco provides help for residents to convert front verges to waterwise landscapes. The City undertakes all the verge preparation works, provides and installs the mulch, soil conditioner and native plants. The City also runs a subsidised native plant scheme for the residents of Subiaco, many of which are installed in verge area. In 2018, the City restored 19 verges and over 700 natives planted.
In this project, an open 100m section of drain from the Morley Branch Main Drain was reconstructed, revegetated and converted into a living stream as part of the Drainage for Liveability Strategy. This involved the battering and revegetation of the western bank with over 4000 native plants, installation of jute matting, and rock revetment over the existing sewer. Overall, the project aimed to decrease the total amount of nutrients entering the Swan River.
The City recently rolled out 12 “Internet of Things” or IoT data loggers attached to water meters. This Mandurah first IoT project has enabled the City to better monitor water consumption and to quickly detect water leaks by visualising water flow rates at Council facilities. Real time alerts are sent to staff if deviations in normal water consumption occurs. A leak of 8L a min was recently able to be fixed straight away.
Retrospective hydrozoning or ‘eco-zoning’ is the retrofitting of existing turfed areas into zones containing mulch and endemic plant species. Once established these areas require little or no irrigation. This practice has been implemented in many of Cockburn’s manicured parks to reduce the volume of water required for irrigation. Water saving and operational benefits have included reduced draw on ground water aquifers, improved water quality returning to groundwater and increased biodiversity and habitat values in our parks.
Retrospective hydrozoning implemented across 4 City parks during 2017/2018.
The initiative has contributed (along with other irrigation efficiency measures) to over 607 million litres in groundwater savings compared to the previous year.
The Waterwise Council Recognition Scheme recognises council’s efforts in driving liveability outcomes across the water cycle and their valuable contributions to creating water sensitive cities and communities.
In 2017 we expanded the Waterwise Council Recognition Scheme criteria to align with the Water Sensitive Cities Index.The expanded criteria highlights the great work councils deliver to help create resilient, sustainable, productive and liveable communities therefore contributing to a more balanced water cycle.
The Water Sensitive Cities Index an assessment tool developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) to benchmark performance against seven urban water goal areas that characterise a water sensitive city, to help councils set targets and identify strategic priorities.
The 7 goal areas are:
- Ensure Good Water Sensitive Governance.
- Increase Community Capital.
- Improve Productivity and Resource Efficiency.
- Improve Ecological Health.
- Ensure Quality Urban Space.
- Achieve Equity of Essential Services.
- Promote Adaptive Infrastructure
Step 1 - complete the recognition application form
- Existing gold or platinum councils
Step 2 - submit your application
Send your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 October 2018.
Winners will be announced at our Annual Waterwise Business Recognition event.
To get involved in the Waterwise Council Program or for more information please email WEpartnerships@watercorporation.com.au or call (08) 9420 2114.