Water Journal : Water Journal May 2011
refereed paper demand management water MAY 2011 69 implementation. The work conducted was based on the principles of Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) as outlined in the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) Guide to Demand Management (Turner et al., 2008). Since 2006, CHW has successfully implemented a number of DM programs that have significantly assisted in reducing demand. These include a targeted residential retrofit program with over 4,700 retrofits, saving around 170ML/yr; additionally, non- residential efficiency programs have saved around 800ML/yr. The lack of water in Lake Wendouree and Ballarat storages brought the issue into focus within the community and assisted in accelerating the uptake of these programs. In addition, state- wide programs have been implemented (together with CHW) which have also assisted in reducing demand, such as 3,600 residential water-efficient showerhead exchanges saving an additional 40ML/yr. Combined with stringent water restrictions these DM initiatives have aided a significant drop in potable consumption (see Figure 2). In 2008, supply augmentation consisting of an $180m 87km Superpipe, connecting the Sandhurst Reservoir near Bendigo to the White Swan Reservoir near Ballarat, secured the region's long-term water supply (Department of Premier & Cabinet, 2008); however, the pumping energy of around 2000kWh/ML (approximately 2--3 t CO2/ML) means a carbon price of $20--$30/t would translate to a carbon cost of $60--$90/ML. More recent supply upgrades include a $7m water recycling project to provide 600ML/ yr of water to Lake Wendouree. The Post-Scarcity Conundrum It is within this context of post-major supply augmentation that CHW seeks to continue supporting and promoting sustainable and responsible water use, while recognising severely restricted water use is no longer appropriate for either the community or the utility. Complementary gains in water efficiency will enable greater water security in the context of forecast climatic uncertainty and state-wide population growth serviced by major common water sources. It is important, however, that in lifting drought restrictions the community still uses water responsibly. The prolonged water scarcities experienced in the region (2006--2009) had a big influence on community attitudes to water use. Low water levels in Lake Wendouree were particularly symbolic of water consumption and, among other issues, heightened awareness of the need to use water wisely. After the supply augmentation the current high levels of social capital remain as an opportunity for maintaining a water smart/wise message. Indeed, CHW predicted significant near-term water savings "due to an expectation that consumer memory from recent drought will help to achieve greater savings" (CHW 2010c). It is anticipated this social capital can be harnessed to promote future sustainable water use, notwithstanding that the lake has now re-filled. Organisational Goals Efforts to encourage sustainable water use allow CHW to continue running its business in a 'sustainable and responsible' manner -- namely, developing sustainable responses to future challenges which build on past successes. Continuing to engage with the community to promote water conservation also guards against bounce-back in water use. Demand management offers CHW a means by which the operational carbon intensity of recent supply augmentations can be offset, subsequently aiding the organisation to achieve its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and satisfying compliance requirements set out in the Victorian EPA Corporate Licence Sustainability Commitment (CHW 2010a). Further, through demand management CHW continues to support the Victorian Water Industry Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Framework (CHW 2010a). Methodology The approach taken for this research was for the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, to review demand management initiatives implemented in other jurisdictions in Australia and assess their potential for implementation within CHW using a set of triple bottom line sustainability criteria (Table 1). The approximate costs and savings (or supply) of each option were based on indicative total resource unit costs (present value $/present value kL from the combined perspective of the utility, customer and other partners where applicable) of similar options implemented in other jurisdictions. Detailed modelling was not undertaken. Community reach/ impact refers to the breadth of customer base that an option potentially engages with to promote sustainable and responsible water use awareness. Table 1: Demand management triple bottom line evaluation criteria (semi-quantitative). Score 0 1 2 3 Water saving potential Negligible Low 1-5ML/yr Moderate 5-25ML/yr High >25ML/yr Greenhouse and energy savings Negligible Low Medium (from water pumping High (pumping plus, e.g. hot water savings) Community reach/impact Negligible Sector-specific (<20%) Moderate (20-50%) High (>50%) Cost- effectiveness* Moderate- High >$3000/ML Low-Moderate $1000-$3000/ML Very Low <$1000/ML No cost Health risk* Low- Moderate Low Negligible None *NB: Trend for 0=Nil to 3=high is reversed for cost-effectiveness and health risk (to maintain the higher the number the better). Figure 2: Historical demand by sector.
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