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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1455 ..

Water usage

(Question No 122)

Mrs Dunne asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 9 April 2002:

In relation to water usage:

(1) Has ACTEW undertaken an audit of water usage in the Territory.

(2) If so, can you advise who are the top 20 consumers of water in the Territory.

(3) What steps are being undertaken to ensure more economical and efficient use of water by consumers.

(4) What efficiencies are already being achieved in this regard.

Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) I have been advised that the use of water in the Territory was audited in detail by ACTEW in 1994/5 as part of the development of the ACT Future Water Supply Strategy. The results of this audit have been widely published. ACTEW has advised that this information is still representative of current water usage patterns in the Territory. There have been no recent detailed audits undertaken.

ACTEW also conducts an annual review of water consumption which includes the amount of unaccounted for water such as non-revenue water and system leakage. ACTEW is required as a condition of its Utilities Services Licence to submit a wide range of water utility benchmarking information for publication by the Water Services Association of Australia. I note that in the WSAAfacts 2000 publication the level of unaccounted for water in the ACT is one of the lowest in Australia.

(2) All water used in the Territory attracts a water abstraction charge under the Water Resources Act 1998 which is administered by Environment ACT. ACTEW is the highest volume licensed water abstracter followed by golf courses and commercial garden centres located at Pialligo. The water abstracted by ACTEW is mainly used for domestic and commercial purposes by ACT and Queanbeyan households and businesses. ACTEW is unable to provide details on the individual users of the water it abstracts because of the requirement of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) which have been prescribed under subsection 51(3) of the Utilities Act 2000. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the major consumers of water abstracted by ACTEW are Government Departments such as Urban Services and Education and the National Capital Authority. Other major consumers would most likely include Parliament House, the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

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