Our region is one of Western Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, renowned for its pristine beaches and hundreds of kilometres of lush forests and picturesque waterways. It also has one of the highest rates of urban expansion in Australia, as well as a thriving agricultural industry with a world-class reputation.
Climate change is a very real consideration here. Rainfall in our South West region has reduced dramatically over the past four decades so good planning and careful management is vital to secure our future water supplies.
Protecting our water resources and safeguarding our environment is a responsibility we take very seriously. As resource guardians, we are striving to build a water sensitive community using a fresh, holistic approach to water resource management that supports both our community and the environment.
Busselton Water acts responsibly with respect to the environment through conservation, recycling, waste reduction and the use of the earth’s resources in a way that does not jeopardise the reasonable rights of future generations.
Robust water quality and aquifer monitoring programs are in place to keep a careful eye on water levels and salinity in our groundwater. We also protect the aquifers from environmental surface damage through the appropriate construction and maintenance of sealed production bores and preventative maintenance including CCTV inspections, relining and redevelopment.
Water is never wasted. Any excess untreated water is released back into the environment to recharge local wetlands and replenish groundwater supplies.
Environmental management system
Developing a robust Environmental Management System is one way Busselton Water ensures that environmental impacts are considered at all levels of the business. The new system conforms with the latest international quality management standard for Environmental Management ISO 14001:2015 and includes a framework to help us monitor and measure our environmental performance.
Using energy more efficiently saves money, conserves resources and helps us do our bit to tackle climate change. We look for the most efficient way to procure, store and use energy in every facet of our operations. Renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role and we are using solar power to meet the energy needs of our Queen Elizabeth Street Water Treatment Plant and our Administration Building. At the time, this was one of the biggest solar panel installations in Busselton. We are innovating in other areas too. In partnership with the City of Busselton, we have developed an award-winning geothermal system that uses the natural heat from groundwater to warm swimming pools at the Geographe Leisure Centre. And in a first for Busselton Water, we had assistance from a procurement company EnerNOC to secure a new energy partnership with Alinta Energy which will deliver tens of thousands of dollars in savings to the business, which will ultimately benefit our customers.
Water use efficiency
An important part of our job is to encourage the whole community to make better use of its water. Our efforts are guided by a Water Use Efficiency Plan which includes a range of measures to improve efficiency within our own business and in our community. Our goal is to reach the following targets:
- Reduce domestic consumption to 100kL/person/year by 2030
- Reduce holiday accommodation water use to 250 L/person/night by 2030
- Reduce system water losses to 7% by 2050
Our waste management program focuses on minimising waste generation and encouraging everyone in the business to reduce, reuse and recycle. In 2017, we implemented a Waste Management Plan which included the implementation of Bokashi waste and recycle bins in our offices. Our field staff are also using less paper with the introduction of tablets.
Busselton Water plays a leading role in helping our community understand the pressure on our water and what they can do to use water wisely. We run special programs for waterwise households, waterwise businesses and schools.