Where does Bunbury's water come from?
Bunbury's water does not come from surface storage dams as in the metropolitan area and many other parts of Western Australia.
AQWEST pumps our water from a large underground fresh water aquifer, called the Yarragadee aquifer which stretches from Bunbury to Nannup.
However, it is a limited resource recharged only by percolated rainfall, and the volume of water used by consumers now has an effect on the amount of water available in the future
Over-use of the Yarragadee aquifer will impact on the availability of water in the long term
Why is water conservation important?
A requirement of AQWEST's Operating license, which is issued by the Economic Regulation Authority, is to promote the water conservation message among consumers.
The water from our underground aquifer is precious and AQWEST has a responsibility to manage and protect it on behalf of the whole community.
Conserving our water also saves our customers money in two ways:
AQWEST's water consumption tariff system rewards consumers who save water. Average water users are charged a fairly low tariff, or rate per kilolitre of water. However, water wasters quickly move up to a higher tariff level. The more you use the more you pay. The spring-summer period is very important because it falls at the beginning of the AQWEST financial year. Consumers who use too much water too quickly in spring-summer move up to a higher tariff and continue to pay the higher rate for the rest of the year. Although consumers generally use less water in winter the cost per kilolitre is based on the cumulative effect of their water consumption over the previous months.
Water conservation is an important part of AQWEST's long term planning strategy.
Construction of new facilities is very costly and consumers ultimately pay.
A controlled level of water consumption, which is promoted by the water conservation campaign, helps AQWEST better manage demand for water and therefore future expansion of water treatment plants and reservoirs.
If expansion can be planned in an orderly way the financial impact is reduced, so our customers benefit.
How to keep track of the amount of water you use
A successful AQWEST water conservation initiative has been the household meter reading consumption chart. This helps consumers keep track of their consumption on a weekly and monthly basis. Used correctly and regularly it is an effective guide to consumption between quarterly water accounts.
Consumers should read their meters at the start of every week, record the consumption figure on the chart and compare it with the target figures provided.
They should read only the black figures, which measure kilolitres, from left to right. For example, if a reading is 006453 in black figures, that translates to 6453 kilolitres. If, four weeks later the reading is 6598 kilolitres, the household has used 145 kilolitres in the month, which is just under half the yearly average. Alarm bells should be ringing.
How to save water
Water conservation is not difficult. There are easy ways to save water inside and outside the home.
Up to 40% of household water consumption occurs in the garden, and can be the major source of waste during the warmer months.
Always use a timer, either on the tap, through an automatic reticulation system or by using an oven timer.
Make a water conservation garden with wind breaks, less lawn, more low water usage plant species and mulch.
Install an efficient watering system.
60% of total household consumption occurs inside. Therefore small savings here could make a big difference.
1) Take shorter showers. Long showers are a major water waster.
2) Install a low flow shower head.
3) Check for leaks and replace washers regularly.
4) Use the washing machine sensibly - wash with a full load.
5) Install dual flush toilet cisterns.