By Angela Dorizas
The water saving achievements of three New South Wales councils have been recognised by Parliamentary Secretary for Water, Mike Kelly.
Dr Kelly congratulated Orange, Gosford and Dubbo city councils for being the first to complete their projects under the Water Loss Management Program.
The program is a $22 million joint initiative of the NSW Water Directorate and the NSW Local Government and Shires Associations (LGSA), with funding from the Federal Government.
Seventy-four regional water utilities from across NSW have signed up to the program to reduce leakage from their drinking water distribution systems.
Dr Kelly said the program has saved 1.5 billion litres of water since its inception in 2006, with final savings expected to exceed 7.5 billion litres per year.
“The Australian Government, through its Water for the Future – Water Smart Australia program, has provided $7.39 million in funding for the Water Loss Management Program and it is encouraging to recognise the early successes the program has had in increasing urban water use efficiency,” he said
“The city councils of Orange, Gosford and Dubbo have shown through their projects that active leakage detection, permanent metering and pressure management together deliver cost effective water loss reduction.
“I congratulate these councils on their achievements and encourage the remaining 71 councils participating in the program to continue the good work.”
Shires Association president Bruce Miller said a dual focus on environmental and financial sustainability was key to the program's success.
“The program is helping councils establish best practice water saving measures and lead their communities by example,” Cr Miller said.
“There’s also a large focus on capacity building for councils – we’re not just looking at short term solutions.”