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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 22 November 2007) . . Page.. 3746 ..


Mr Mulcahy, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, he has determined that the matter proposed by Mr Gentleman be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of securing Canberra’s water supply and the ACT Government’s record in effective water demand management.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (3.53): Today, as you have outlined, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to speak about the importance of securing the ACT water supply and, more specifically, the ACT government’s excellent record in delivering a suite of successful water demand management programs and initiatives.

The ongoing work of the ACT government to further assist Canberrans to reduce their water use and therefore decrease the demand on water from our dams has been and remains one of our highest priorities. Water security planning and management have entailed substantial investigation into the ACT’s water supply and demand requirements. The dominant issue is the provision of an adequate water supply for both the short term and the long term—to ensure an adequate future water supply for the ACT.

Water security planning entails effective demand management. Water demand management refers to the implementation of policies or measures that control or influence the amount of water used. It is achieved through increasing the efficiency of water use by discouraging the wasteful use of water.

Demand management can be achieved by changes to devices or appliances to use less water in our buildings and gardens, for example through rebate and incentive programs, regulations and water efficiency labelling and standards; utilising different sources of water, such as recycled water; water-sensitive urban design; and changes in behaviour through education, permanent water conservation measures, temporary water restrictions and the price we pay for our water.

The ACT government has adopted an effective demand management policy and incentive program for some years. The journey began with think water, act water, the ACT strategy for sustainable water resource management. The aim has been to use water efficiently and reduce dependence on potable water, therefore decreasing demand for water from our dams. A range of measures have been implemented to assist Canberrans to meet these objectives.

Think water, act water includes a range of demand management actions. The strategy sets a target of decreasing per capita mains water use by 12 per cent of 71.60 gigalitres by 2013 and by 25 per cent of 77.44 gigalitres by 2023. These targets are to be met through water efficiency measures to reduce required use and through mains water source substitution such as water recycling, the use of stormwater and rainwater and recharging aquifers. For members’ interest, let me say that I have been looking at rainwater harvesting at my place and am in the process of installing a water tank there.

Think water, act water includes a second target focused on increasing the use of water sources other than the main storages. The target is to increase the use of treated


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