Perhaps it’s the word ‘city’ in ‘water sensitive city’ but sometimes people don’t realise water sensitive principles and practices don’t just apply to metropolitan areas. Throughout Australia, there are plenty of regional areas making major strides in their transition to being water sensitive too.
Indeed, Wannon Water—a water utility in Warrnambool in Victoria’s south west—is embracing innovation while still delivering high quality core services.
The organisation’s Roof Water Harvesting Project is a leading example of integrated water management, collecting and diverting roof water for potable uses.
Under the innovative scheme, roof water is collected and diverted from all new houses and industrial buildings within new estates located in a growth corridor in the city. The water is then transferred via gravity into an existing untreated water storage and treated through the existing treatment plant to provide drinking water for the city.
The project is a response to a recognised need for new water resources, to meet a projected increase in demand in the city over the next 50 years. Growth areas in Warrnambool provided an excellent opportunity to test innovative ways to save water and secure water supplies, and the end result is water at a cost per megalitre similar to the next preferred augmentation option (groundwater)—and has additional environmental and social benefits too. You can read more about the roof harvesting project here.
But that’s not all for Wannon Water: it’s kicking some other water sensitive goals too, recently winning the title of ‘Australia’s best tasting drinking water’ for water from its Hamilton treatment plant.
Judged by members of the public during a blind taste testing, the water supplied to Hamilton scored highest on a range of criteria, including colour, clarity, odour and mouthfeel. Hamilton will now represent Australia at the annual International Water Tasting Competition to be held at Berkeley Springs in West Virginia, USA in February next year.
We have many more examples of regional cities and towns actively pursuing their transition to water sensitive practices, with outstanding results:
- Bendigo—Vision and transition strategy
- Townsville—Vision and transition strategy
- Orange—Stormwater to potable case study
- Gladstone—Gladstone East Shores Precinct
- Blue Mountains—as part of WaterNSW Urban Program.
We’re always looking for examples of water sensitive principles and practices in regional areas. If you have a great example to share, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.