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. To compliment this, Council is also investing in draught resistant turf at the Hudson Park Golf Course which will be in place by the end of 2012.
Water Efficiency Plan 2012-2016
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.
Strathfield Council’s total water usage for all facilities in the 2010/11 financial year was 49,776 kL. The cost effective projects identified in the draft Water Efficiency Plan are estimated to provide water savings of 19,560 kL per annum, representing a reduction of 39% of Council’s total annual water usage.
Strathfield Council’s water usage target for the next four years is therefore to reduce annual water consumption by 39% from 2010/11 levels.