Water Journal : Water Journal May 2011
conference reviews would survive now that it is raining and the dams are filling. Yet climate predictions are ominous. We are faced with more aridity, punctuated by extreme rainfall events, which, as in Queensland, overflow the dams and so are 'wasted'. The situation in Perth is worse than ever. The Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) is still underdone. There is no mandatory level and the facility for cheating is ever-present. The Smart Approved Watermark is working well in its field. BASIX in NSW is a good concept, but frequently obeyed in the letter, not the action. For example, a survey has shown that a number of rainwater tanks installed to attain the points are, in fact, never used. The impacts of efficient appliances may last; individual behaviour may shift, yet a culture of water savings has been instilled. Can it be sustained? Not just for the next drought, but solely because efficiency is far cheaper and has a lesser carbon footprint than developing new water sources (such as desalination or reuse). Smart meters, where usage costs are fed back immediately to the customer, may be worth further development, but to be economic the current price would have to be reduced to less than a quarter by mass production. Three-block electricity metering certainly works. One success which will be maintained is the encouragement of water efficiency in industry and commercial premises, Chris concluded. It makes better economic sense to the accountants as well as meaning better sustainability. Water Efficiency Conference Keynote Speakers The theme of reducing domestic usage was continued by Tony Kelly, Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne, looking at Past, Present, Future. The Past: "Seven years of drought have taught us much, with 2006 being the lowest rainfall on record for Melbourne's catchments, which necessitated the North-South pipeline and the desalination plant. Currently rainfall is reasonable, but future prospects are not optimistic, so a major challenge for the water utilities is no longer civil engineering but social engineering, to maintain low consumption patterns. "Throughout the drought the trigger levels, which Melbourne Water established in the earlier years, have focused the community. Dam levels have been widely advertised (even taxi drivers could quote them) and Stage 1 to 3 restrictions were accepted. Yarra Valley's Smart Water Account won us an international award, but more importantly, it kicked teenagers out of the shower. "Rebates on appliances and rainwater systems were offered; some were valuable, others less so, but together they helped to change perceptions. Our TV advertisements were aimed at inspiring people, and by keeping people 'in the loop' we achieved a 36% reduction in domestic demand, and a 33% reduction in commercial demand, all voluntary. Yarra Valley Water spent about $0.5m; the direct benefit was about $2.5m, but far more if carbon pricing could be factored in. Whether it’s for drinking, irrigation or industry, Australia’s climate and reliance on water has produced some of the world’s most innovative suppliers of water products and services. Now there’s an online tool that brings all these suppliers together in one central location. ICN’s Water Directory is a pivotal connection point for project and procurement managers looking for the best water industry suppliers in our region. This comprehensive directory has a powerful search function that allows you to fnd suppliers with capabilities that exactly match your needs. Combine this with the experience and knowledge of ICN’s consultants and you can be sure you’ll never miss an opportunity to fnd the perfect partner. Start exploring Australia’s ICN Water Directory today at water.icn.org.au All the right connections for the water industry.
Water Journal April 2011
Water Journal July 2011