WA councils recognised for water saving initiatives

Two Perth councils have been presented with awards for innovative water-saving initiatives as part of the state’s Waterwise Councils program.

Simone McGurk

The program was established by the Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to encourage waterwise practices among local government.

City of Stirling and Town of Cambridge took out the Platinum Waterwise Council of the Year award in recognition of their efforts to reduce water consumption and improve efficiency.

City of Stirling was recognised for encouraging ratepayers to choose native plants during a series of pop-up garden workshops, and for launching its Sustainable Verge Awards program which supports residents to transform verges into waterwise gardens.

Special mention was also made of the City’s efforts to reduce groundwater consumption at a park in Balcatta through hydro-zoning technology, which involves strategically grouping plants with similar water needs together.

The Town of Cambridge was acknowledged for making upgrades at several local parks and reserves, including a stormwater diversion project at Perry Lakes west of Perth that’s helped replenish water levels and created a breeding habitat for swans.

Presenting the awards this week, water Minister Simone McGurk said the face of climate change and declinging rainfall, it’s never been more important to build climate resistant communities.

“Through the Waterwise Council and Aquatic Centre programs, local governments and recreation centres have access to expert support from Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to make meaningful changes in how they use water,” she said in a statement. 

“Make no mistake, these programs can and do make a real difference.”

Forty eight  WA councils have now been endorsed through the program, including the City of Cockburn which marked 10 years participation. The Town of East Fremantle, City of Gosnells, City of Melville and City of Karratha each earned gold recognition.

Meanwhile the event also celebrated council recreation facilities in Water Corporation’s Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program.

Albany Leisure Centre and Kwinana Recquatic were named joint Platinum Waterwise Aquatic Centre of the Year, while Northam Aquatic Facility in the Shire of Northam and Swan Active Beechboro in the City of Swan earned gold recognition.

A total of 64 councils are participating in the Waterwise program, including all 32  metropolitan councils and 32 regional councils.

In 2020-21 the Waterwise greening scheme funded 13 councils to create 216 waterwise verges, plant 621 waterwise trees and more than 35,000 waterwise plants.

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