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Being water wise

Tuesday 8 October 2019

None of us needs reminding of just how dry it is out there this spring – which is why we’re working with our community to be water wise in the warm and dry months ahead.

There are no compulsory water restrictions in place at this stage but with our major storages falling and a forecast for drier than usual conditions ahead, it’s timely that we all take simple steps to use a little less of the precious resource in the hope that restrictions won’t be necessary in the months ahead.

Being water wise is relatively easy.

Read more about water conservation for some simple tips to use less water in the home and outside. These steps can be as simple as fixing leaks, using the half-flush on toilets, watering gardens at optimum times of the day and avoiding using a hose to clean driveways and paths.

By following these voluntary rules, you’ll not only be helping to conserve our water, you’ll also cut your household or business water costs.

Individually, these rules amount to a relatively small amount of water-saving, but when we combine our efforts the savings become significant, helping us to collectively make a significant difference.

Our community has already taken great strides towards reducing water wastage. Since 1990, we’ve collectively reduced the city’s water consumption by 15 per cent – a great effort when you consider our population has grown by more than 8,000 since then.

AlburyCity’s household water consumption is only a small fraction of that used by industry and agriculture. To put it into context, the amount of water we use as a city in a whole year flows down the Murray River in a period of less than 24 hours – showing that the demands on our rivers and dams are many and varied.

Nonetheless, it’s important in these dry times to make sure that every drop counts and as a community near the heads of the river it’s important for us to lead by example.

Of course, being water-wise is not confined to AlburyCity alone, which is why we’ll soon be joining forces with neighbouring councils and water authorities to promote a community-wide message that we can all make a real difference.

Working with North East Water in Victoria and our neighbouring council in NSW, Greater Hume Shire, we’ll be encouraging the wider community to heed the water wise message by taking those small steps that combine to make a big difference.

At AlburyCity, we have long-standing practices to minimise our water use.

All of irrigation systems are set up to water at night and the systems are centrally computer controlled, hooked up to rain switches and weather stations and designed to be as efficient as possible.

We use drip systems instead of sprays in  garden beds wherever possible, mulch to reduce water loss, correct size jets to reduce overspray and select plants/turf types for their drought resistant capabilities.

These are the types of steps we can all take, albeit on a smaller scale, to reduce water wastage and We’re looking forward to working closely with the community to show that Albury and surrounds continues to be a leader in sustainability and water conservation.

If trigger points are reached in coming months, in conjunction with the NSW Government we may decide to introduce compulsory restrictions. If we do reach that point, our water wise community will be ready for the challenge and by working together we’ll have made a difference to which we can all contribute.