13 August 2012
New research shows overwatering biggest culprit in Alice water waste
More than half the water wasted in Alice Springs is through overwatering gardens, new research shows.
Analysis of more than 369 Alice Water Smart water efficiency consultations in homes over the past year reveals that 56 per cent of water waste--an average of 190 000 litres of water per house, per year - is from watering gardens too much.
A further 25% - or an average of 83 000 litres per house per year - is wasted through leaks that people are not aware of.
The findings are being presented today at an Alice Water Smart nursery and garden suppliers industry breakfast, with special guest Gardening Australia presenter Costa Georgiadis.
“We’ve always known that around two thirds of household water is used in Alice Springs gardens, more than anywhere else in the home,” said Alice Water Smart Homes and Business project manager Liz Locksley.
“Now we’ve been able to break it down even more. Our consultants determine the correct water needs of the plants in each part of the garden and generally find that the homeowner is using much more water than necessary.”
“This analysis of findings shows just how much water could be saved if everyone used their irrigation systems to the best advantage and watered according to plant need. We’ve found that the crucial skill people need help with is how long and how often to water each plant type – whether it’s natives, fruit trees and other exotics, lawns or veggie patches.”
“By watering more deeply, less often, the roots get stronger, the plant is healthier and you’ll be doing your bit to help make Alice water smart.”
Ms Locksley said nurseries, gardeners and irrigation suppliers are vital in helping people better understand the watering needs of their garden because they are the experts who can advise customers on the best options for their situation.
Other findings from the research include:
The nursery industry breakfast is one of number of initiatives under Alice Water Smart, a 2-year project to save 1,600 million litres of water a year and extend the life of the town’s groundwater supply, sourced from Mereenie Aquifer.
Alice Water Smart offers free Home Water Efficiency Consultations, free Garden Watering Assessments for eligible higher users, business water efficiency audits and residents can access NT Government Waterwise rebates for a range of water efficiency upgrades.
Alice Water Smart is supported by the Australian Government Water for the Future Initiative. The Homes and Business project is proudly delivered by the Arid Lands Environment Centre.
For more information or to book a Water Efficiency Consultation for your home, visit www.alicewatersmart.com.au or call 8953 1030.