OVER the past 12 months, Barwon Water has heard more than 500 ideas from community members about how to make our future water supply reliable, affordable and sustainable.
Barwon Water condensed the ideas and grouped them into two categories: ‘finding more water’ and ‘using water smarter’.
Barwon Water launched a community focused Water for our Future initiative in 2019 to proactively plan, prepare and invest in water after modelling showed that by 2029 demand could exceed supply.
Now, after thousands of submissions, each of the 11 ideas have been summarised on the Barwon Water website, alongside other information like how many times it was raised by community members.
Community members can then vote on whether they believe the option should be part of future use.
There are eight options in the ‘Finding more water’ category: Desalination, recycled water, grey water, groundwater, roof water, storm water, rivers and buying from willing sellers.
Recycled water (73 mentions), roof water (55 mentions) and diverting water from our river systems (75 mentions) were mentioned the most in community submissions throughout the year.
Recycled water involves treating residential sewage and industrial trade waste to a safe standard so it can then be diverted to homes and used for toilet flushing, garden watering and car washing.
Armstrong Creek and Torquay North are used as case studies as they both use recycled water systems, whereby houses are fitted with colour coded purple pipes to identify the recycled source.
Three option in the ‘Using water smarter’ category include: Better design and planning, improved efficiency and changing behaviours.
Improved efficiency was mentioned a whopping 153 times and changing behaviours 95 times, compared to only 17 mentions for better design and planning.
Improved efficiency may include installing efficient showerheads, appliances and fixing leaks.
Barwon Water is inviting feedback until the end of January 2021, which will then be passed on the Water for our Future Community Panel to inform its decision making.
The panel will meet in early 2021 to recommend a short list for the Barwon Water 50-year Urban Water Strategy.