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Sustainable Water Use

Water management in Victoria has become a critical issue and Moira Shire Council is committed to protecting our water quality and maximising water conservation. This is a summary of what's happening within the Shire to protect our precious water resources.

 

Sustainable Water Use Plan 

A Sustainable Water Use Plan is an important water management and conservation tool. It identifies where Council uses water, how much water is used and actions for Council to reduce water consumption. The plan focuses on Council-owned or managed water usage facilities, such as parks and gardens, municipal buildings, sporting fields and swimming pools. Moira Shire Council’s sustainable water use plan is currently being reviewed to insure the plan will continue to deliver maximum benefit. This review will be complete in early 2013.

Water Management in Moira Shire - Council Operations
Q: How much water does Council use?

Each year, Moira Shire Council uses around 80-150 megalitres of potable mains water in its operations. Council's five highest potable water users, in order of highest to lowest consumption, are the open space/parks and gardens, swimming pools, Yarrawonga standpipe, caravan parks and toilet facilities. In addition to Council's potable water use, Council also uses a number of non-potable water licences across the Shire to enable service provision. Use of non-potable water in Moira Shire is conducted along the same guidelines as those for potable water that are both directed by the sustainable water use plan.

So Moira Shire Council can monitor water consumption over time, Council has decided to compare its future water consumption to the 2004/05 financial year as a typical "baseline" year.

Q: What is Council doing to save water and improve water quality?

 Water management is a critical issue for Moira Shire Council. The two biggest impacts that Council has on the urban water cycle are through:

  • consumption of water for the irrigation of parks and reserves; and
  • management of stormwater.

The sections below provide a summary of the water management activities being undertaken by Moira Shire Council.

Sustainable Irrigation

Council has developed a water-wise approach to irrigating its public reserves, using a combination of tighter scheduling and improved infrastructure.

"Active" recreation reserves are now only watered according to their base irrigation requirements, determined through a water efficiency model that considers local climatic conditions and vegetation type.

Little or no watering of "passive" recreation reserves allows them to "brown off" over summer.

In addition to saving water, plants that are not suited to these new watering regimes are being replaced, where possible, with drought tolerant local indigenous species. These plants use less water and provide an added benefit to the restoration of the Shire's natural biodiversity.

Council's water saving irrigation activities include:

  • converting irrigation systems from manual to automatic;
  • irrigation audits;
  • use of subsurface irrigation;
  • use of water metres on bores;
  • reducing the area of certain reserves being irrigated;
  • ceasing irrigation entirely on a number of reserves;
  • using deep mulches on garden beds and revegetated areas to reduce evaporation; and
  • using new technologies and monitoring their performance.

Council is also committed to working under current water restrictions and reducing demand on local groundwater supplies. Follow this link to view information on water restrictions across Victoria and how they apply to residents.

Conserving Water in Council Buildings

Buildings owned and/or managed by Moira Shire Council have been audited to identify actions that could be undertaken to reduce energy and water consumption.

Below is a summary of the activities undertaken:

  • use of dual flush toilets and waterless urinals in all end-of-life replacements;
  • water saving shower heads and water efficient tap ware at swimming facilities and sports clubs;
  • use of water efficient kitchen appliances in end-of-life replacements;
  • flow restrictors and aerators on replacement taps in bathrooms and kitchens;
  • pool blanket at Numurkah indoor swimming pool and Yarrawonga outdoor swimming pool; and 
  • water tanks and toilet systems that use harvested water.

Moira Shire Council is continually looking to reduce energy and water consumption and is working on new initiatives that include:

  • pool blankets for all outdoor swimming facilities; and
  • water efficient filtration systems for the Numurkah indoor swimming pool.

Additional measures will continue to be made during building upgrades and asset replacements.

 

Policy and Planning

To help guide Council's on-ground activities and ensure it is working towards achieving the community vision, the following strategy has been set in the Council Plan:

Strategic Goal 2: Our Environment and Lifestyle.

Outcome: A quality environment for future generations.

Strategies: Continue to negotiate with government and authorities in relation to delivery of sustainable provision of water for our communities:

  • maximise water conservation through the community and in Council's operations.

 

Save Water in Your Home
Q: I'd like to save water but it would be easier if things didn't cost so much - is there any help on offer?

Saving water in your home has never been easier, or more important.

Fortunately, there is currently a lot of support available from the state and federal governments to guide you in the right direction.

 

Living Victoria Water Rebate Program

Through the "Living Victoria Water Rebate Program", the Victorian Government is currently running an excellent rebate scheme to assist with the purchase of a range of indoor and outdoor appliance, supplies and services. This rebate program is open to both individuals and businesses. Please click here for further information. Items covered in the scheme include:

  • water efficient shower heads;
  • dual-flush toilets;
  • water efficient washing machines;
  • purchasing and plumbing rainwater tanks;
  • organic mulch or compost;
  • soil wetting agents;
  • tap timers;
  • compost bins;
  • soil moisture sensors or rain sensors;
  • irrigation system controllers;
  • drip watering system components; and
  • permanent grey water systems

Goulburn Valley Water and North East Water

Goulburn Valley Water is the main supplier of potable reticulated water to the residents in Moira Shire. North East Water acts as a retailer and on sells water from Goulburn Valley Water. Goulburn Valley Water has a range of suggestions to improve water efficiency and reduce the volume of water you use. Click here for Goulburn Valley Water’s water saving ideas.       

Goulburn Murray Water

Goulburn Murray Water (G-MW) is the principle supplier of non-potable water to the farms, business and residents of Moira Shire. G-MW is responsible for managing networks of irrigation infrastructure within the Shire, as well as the numerous water storage facilities (reservoirs and lakes). G-MW manages water-related services in a region of 68,000km2, bordered by the Great Dividing Range in the south and the Murray River in the north and stretching from Corryong in the east downriver to Nyah.

 

Water Audits

Conducting an audit of water use in your home is an excellent way of working out the most cost effective ways of reducing your water consumption.

Home audits should be conducted by a qualified professional who is insured for providing advice to the homeowner/occupier. More information on home water use audits is available here.

 

Top 10 Tips

The Australian Government has produced a Guide to Australia's Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme. You can save water in your home by following these simple rules:

  1. buy dishwashers, washing machines and plumbing products that have a high star rating under the Australian Government's Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) - a five star WELS rated shower head can save an average household more than $100.00 each year on water and energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to one tonne per year;
  2. take shorter showers and install a water efficient shower head - a shower uses 10-20 litres of water every minute;
  3. install a dual flush toilet that can reduce the volume of water in each flush by 50 percent;
  4. consider using grey water from the laundry on the garden;
  5. use mulch to prevent water loss;
  6. consider investing in a front loading washing machine - it may cost more initially but will use less water and detergent. Wash with cold water;
  7. install a dripper system and a tap timer and check hoses and taps for leaks;
  8. choose a drought-resistant lawn or look into alternatives like paving or artificial turf;
  9. install aerators on your taps; and
  10. consider installing a rain water tank.

Further Information on Sustainable Water Use 

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