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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1456 ..

(3) The Government, through licensing conditions under the Utilities Act 2000, requires water service providers to encourage and promote the efficient use of water by customers.

I am advised that ACTEW has published a range of information relating to efficient water usage. Relevant information is available on the ACTEW website or as brochures. The information covers:

efficient water use in domestic irrigation systems;

water meter reading;

looking for leaks;

rebate for installation of rain water tanks; and

use of water efficient garden design, plant selection and irrigation systems.

The Government, in conjunction with ACTEW, has promoted a research trial relating to domestic waste water treatment and water recycling through the Domestic Wastewater Reuse Trial. There are five trial sites in suburban ACT.

The previous Liberal Government agreed to the introduction of a split tariff based on volume of water consumption with the objective of lowering the increment point annually until it reaches approximately 175kL, which represents the estimated average annual internal household consumption. Currently customers pay a fixed connection fee of $125/year plus $0.56/kL for the first 225kL consumed and $1.04/kL for consumption in excess of 225kL. The usage charge includes the ACT Government water abstraction charge of 10 cents per kL.

Other initiatives by the Government and ACTEW include:

the development of an active leakage management pilot project by ACTEW to monitor water reticulation piping systems for leakage;

the introduction by ACTEW of a school education information kit relating to efficient water usage. This program is available via the ACTEW web site;

the commencement of a large scale water meter replacement program of approximately 10,000 meters per year by ACTEW to ensure all water is accurately metered and customers pay fairly for usage;

the introduction of mandatory building regulations in the early 1990's that have required the fitting of low volume (2/6L) dual flush toilets on all new and renovated toilets;

the promotion by the Department of Urban Services (DUS), in conjunction with the Master Builder's Association, of low volume shower roses; and

the reduction of water usage by DUS through introduction of computerised water management systems for irrigated landscape areas on Territory land.

(4) I am advised that since the introduction of full payment for usage of water in 1992/3 and other water usage reduction initiatives, Canberra's summer bulk water supply demand rate has dropped by approximately 20% when the effects of climate variations are taken into consideration. On a peak summer day, the consumption appears to be about 40% down from that experienced in the 1980's, and this reduction appears to have been sustained over the last 10 years.

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