The importance of managing our precious water resource is a topic of which we are all well aware in an environment of increasing demand and population and rising water costs.
Strathfield Council believes that we have an opportunity as a water user within the region to lead by example adopting sound water management techniques. Council's approach to water management is outlined in the Water Efficiency Plan 2012-2016, which was adopted in March 2012. This plan replaced the previous Water Savings Action Plan 2007-2011.
Council has committed under its Water Plan to reduce water consumption in its top ten water using sites which include:
- Hudson Park Oval and Driving Range
- Strathfield Park
- Mason Park
- Airey Park
- Bark Huts Reserve
- Begnell Park
- Strathfield Council Works Depot
- Council Adminstration Offices
- Kuralee Childcare Centre
- Strathfield Community Centre
The irrigation of parks and open space currently accounts for around 87 per cent of corporate water consumption.
To reduce water use, various water sensitive techniques will be employed ranging from the installation of water tanks, use of waterless urinals, staff training and awareness of water conservation, and making alterations to operation procedures. The planting of native grasses to reduce water waste have also been planted. As well as the installation of a 'Cloud Master' irrigation control system that controls when and the frequency in which Strathfield's parks are watered.
Since 2007, Council has already undertaken significant work to reduce our water use across all areas of Council activities including parks, sportsgrounds, community centres, libraries and council offices. Case studies of various projects are available below.
Strathfield Council has a strong commitment to reducing water use across all areas of Council activity ranging from parks and open space to community centres, Council offices and libraries. Council has reduced its water use by 50% from 1990 levels and is working towards further reductions as outlined in Council's Water Efficiency Plan 2012-2016.
In 2007, Council adopted a Water Action Plan that identified projects for Council to undertake to reduce water consumption. Council provides a broad range of services and owns a number of facilities including public open space (parks, sportsgrounds and golf course), club houses, libraries, childcare and community centres and Council’s administrative buildings.
Most of the actions implemented over 2007-2012 have been aimed at reducing water usage in Council buildings. As a result, water consumption from buildings has decreased and represents a smaller proportion of Council’s total usage (~13%) compared with that reported in Strathfield Council’s 2007 Water Savings Action Plan (~25%). Actions have included:
Installing flow controls to hand basin taps and showers in major parks, community facilities and Council offices, Council saved over 500 kL/yr.
- Installation of dual flush toilet cisterns at major parks, community facilities and Council offices, Council saved over 800 kL/yr.
- Repairs to leaking amenities and irrigation systems at a range of facilities as part of Council’s ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
- Installation of signage to encourage users to use water wisely and to report leaks
- Installation of rain water tanks at various parks, Council works depot and offices and Main Library. This has contributed to more than a halving of water use at the Works Depot and Council offices.
- Remote irrigation control system installed at Hudson Park Oval and Golf Course and Strathfield Park.
- Installation of a water recycling system for the truck wash bay, water tanks to collect rainwater for truck wash bay and improvements to the watering system in the plan nursery at the Works Depot.
About 87% of total water consumption is used in the management of public open space, particularly the irrigation of playing surfaces and landscaped areas. The average rainfall for the area is 958mm per annum and in the past, Council has relied almost entirely on town water to meet the remaining demand for irrigation for these outdoor facilities. As such Council has begun work on upgrading irrigation systems to include greater control and monitoring features across all irrigated facilities.
Council adopted the new Water Efficiency Plan in March 2012. This plan aims to build upon the previous plan by identifying and detailing further water conservation actions for Council’s highest water consuming facilities. The Plan has been prepared in accordance with the Local Council Guide for Water Efficiency Plans and meets Council’s commitments to the Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payment Program (WaSIP).
The plan outlines the processes undertaken to assess Council’s current position including the details of audits undertaken at Council’s top ten water consuming facilities. Both management actions site specific actions are highlighted that Council may implement over the next four years to reduce and manage water usage in its top ten using facilities.