Task­force taps into wa­ter me­ter plan

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON domanii. cameron@ news. com. au

SMART me­ters could be rolled out across Townsville to al­low res­i­dents to mon­i­tor their daily wa­ter con­sump­tion.

The ini­tia­tive was sug­gested by the Wa­ter Task­force in its in­terim re­port that was handed to the State Govern­ment on Fri­day.

The key rec­om­men­da­tion was that the Haughton pipe­line be du­pli­cated with a 1800mm di­am­e­ter steel pipe to se­cure Townsville’s wa­ter sup­ply in the short term.

The State Govern­ment al­lo­cated $ 10 million for de­mand man­age­ment in their 2017- 18 Bud­get, with Townsville City Coun­cil to work with them on ini­tia­tives.

Task­force chair­man Brad Webb said there were sev­eral ideas to re­duce wa­ter us­age.

“They ( coun­cil) can as­sist peo­ple with wa­ter- sav­ing de­vices, put smart me­ters in and ed­u­cate peo­ple on how to use wa­ter so it isn’t wasted,” he said.

Mr Webb said de­mand man­age­ment needed to be rolled out in the near fu­ture.

“We are in the dry trop­ics and we do use more wa­ter,” he said.

“Wa­ter me­ters I think it’s more of a de­vice that al­lows you to mon­i­tor your­self.”

Mayor Jenny Hill said if smart me­ters were in­stalled, res­i­dents could mon­i­tor their con­sump­tion and see whether they were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any leak­ages.

“Coun­cil still has some tation to un­der­take,” she said.

“The State Govern­ment will make a se­ries of an­nounce­ments.

“We know that when Bris­bane suf­fered their drought the Govern­ment did a de­mand man­age­ment ex­er­cise and spon­sored that.

“We’re as­sum­ing they may do some­thing sim­i­lar. I think the state has learnt a bit from that.”

Cr Hill said the Govern­ment would con­sider the re­gion’s weather when work­ing through ini­tia­tives.

“What we want peo­ple to do is see how much they are con­sum­ing,” she said.

Day Dawn Nurs­ery owner Harry con­sul- Wilschef­ski said more wa­ter­wise plants could be used around the city.

“( There are) suc­cu­lents, cac­tuses and some that are very at­trac­tive that don’t look like a thorny cac­tus,” he said

“I haven’t seen peo­ple want­ing to buy more wa­ter­wise plants which is a shame. Peo­ple just gen­er­ally have cut down on gar­den­ing.”

Min­is­ter As­sist­ing the Pre­mier on North Queens­land Co­ralee O’Rourke said the State whole­heart­edly sup­ported each rec­om­men­da­tion in the task­force’s re­port.

“We be­lieve work can start straight away,” she said.

“Cru­cial to the suc­cess of wa­ter se­cu­rity is all lev­els of govern­ment work­ing to­gether, and the State will be lead­ing that co- op­er­a­tion.”

GROW­ING DE­MAND: Day Dawn Nurs­ery owner Harry Wilschef­ski says peo­ple need to switch to more drought- tol­er­ant plants. Pic­ture: SCOTT RADFORD- CHISHOLM

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