Tourist industry targetted in water conservation battle

Busselton Water’s newest focus in the fight to reduce water consumption is big water users in the tourist accommodation sector.

Busselton Water CEO Chris Elliott said the doubling of the town’s population over summer puts a significant strain on its water resources.

“In the summer months, when our water resources are already under pressure, our population swells to around 50,000. The natural effect of this is that our larger accommodation providers – hotels, caravan parks, holiday villages and other local operators – end up as some of our biggest water users,” Mr Elliott said.

“It’s critical that we educate visitors and tourists about conserving our precious resource during their visits – and our tourism operators are an important partner with us in achieving this.”

Mr Elliott hoped local accommodation providers would take a leaf out of Busselton Water’s newest Waterwise Business in Action, Amblin Holiday Park, which reduced its annual water consumption by a staggering 43,000kL in 2015-16 – an 82% decrease on the prior year.

“Amblin Holiday Park set out on an ambitious water reduction program comprising proactive leak detection, a complete overhaul of its plumbing system, and a range of other initiatives such as signage to encourage visitors to think about water use.

“We are very pleased to formally recognise them as a Waterwise Business in Action to encourage other businesses to also lead by example,” he said.

Amblin Holiday Park Managers Ross and Helen Duits explained when they started as managers of the holiday park in January 2016 they were advised of the significant water usage, especially during peak times.

“The previous management developed a plan to completely replace the plumbing system that we fine-tuned and added to, including revising the fire system and adding a reticulation system. It was a five month job but, in the end, it has massively benefited us and been a fundamental part of our water saving success,” Mr Duits said.

“We also realised that the swimming pool was using a lot of water so that was excavated, completely re-plumbed and a new liner installed.”

Critically, to encourage less water use by visitors, Amblin Holiday Park also added signage to all outdoor taps reminding visitors to be careful with their water usage.

“There is probably more that we can do and we’ll keep working on reducing our water consumption, because at the end of the day, it not only conserves a precious resource, it reduces our costs.”

The Busselton Water Waterwise Business in Action program commenced in 2010 and is designed to highlight businesses that are being proactive with water conservation.

Is your business doing something practical to reduce, reuse or recycle water? If so, nominate to become a Busselton Water Waterwise Business in Action.

Busselton Water CEO Chris Elliott, left, presents Amblin Holiday Park managers Ross and Helen Duits with a Waterwise Business in Action certificate.