Water Efficiency Program and Water Efficiency Framework

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About the program

Water is critical to the health, resilience, liveability and economic sustainability of regional and metropolitan communities and to sustain a healthy environment. The NSW Government, through the NSW Water Strategy, is committed to improving the resilience of the state’s water resources over the next 20 years.

We are seeking new ways and approaches to working with the community to ensure we have secure, reliable water sources and to build future resilience to climate change and droughts. The efficient use of water will contribute to the sustainability of long-term supplies as population increases, build resilience to drought and support readiness to respond to future extremes in weather.

Better valuing our precious water resources is an important message in the NSW Water Strategy, with ongoing water conservation practices identified as a required part of managing the ongoing water needs of NSW communities.

Increased investment in water system efficiency, water conservation and demand management can delay the timing and reduce the scale of investment in new supply infrastructure and maximise the value of our resources. Water conservation is strongly supported by communities and businesses, and across government.

We have a dedicated Water Efficiency Program Team who are collaborating with key stakeholders, including the Water Directorate, Local Government NSW, Water Utilities, industry leaders, the community and other government agencies.

Water Efficiency Framework and Programs

The NSW Water Strategy identifies the need for improved water efficiency and conservation and under Action 6.5 the government has committed to the development of a state-wide Water Efficiency Framework and Program. The department’s Water Efficiency framework and associated programs will enable government, water utilities and the NSW community to use water more efficiently. This will help us make sustainable water infrastructure decisions.

The Framework is in development and we are currently consulting with local water utilities and the wider water sector.

Regional Leakage Reduction Program

A key aspect of the Water Efficiency Program is addressing network leakage and water loss as a priority. The need to focus on local water utilities’ network leakage and water losses became apparent during the drought and has been reinforced during consultation with Councils and the wider sector as part of the Town Water Risk Reduction Program.

The department is scoping a program in collaboration with the NSW Water Directorate and local water utilities that targets the pillars of effective leakage management. The program will focus on where the NSW Government can provide the most value to local water utilities, enhancing their ability to identify leaks and target and fix leaks as part of their asset management framework.

A series of collaboration workshops will be held at the end of 2021 and in early 2022.

If you would like to get involved, please register your interest by emailing water.efficiencyprogram@dpie.nsw.gov.au.

Smart Approved WaterMark – Smart Water Advice Program

The NSW Government and Smart Approved WaterMark are partnering with local water utilities and councils to provide subsidised subscriptions to the Smart Water Advice Program. Subscribers to Smart Water Advice receive water efficiency tips and advice, interactive tools and information to share with their communities.

Local water utilities and councils who are not current subscribers can apply for a three-year subscription for the cost of just one year. Existing subscribers will receive an additional year of their membership at no additional cost.

The Smart Water Advice Program is a resource designed to help water utilities, businesses, and councils to provide professional water efficiency information to their customers. This improves community awareness and understanding and influences community behaviour when it comes to water efficiency and reduced water waste.

Read the Smart Water Advice partnership fact sheet.

Download the fact sheet

You can subscribe to the Smart Water Advice Program by emailing info@smartwatermark.info or visit www.smartwatermark.org for more information.

The department hosted a webinar on Wednesday, 10 November 2021.

Local water utilities and councils had the opportunity to learn more about the Smart Water Advice program subscription offer and hear from the department on water efficiency initiatives. Watch a recording of the webinar now.

Partnership approach

We have a dedicated Water Efficiency Program team who are collaborating with key stakeholders, including the Water Directorate, Local Government NSW, local water utilities and other government agencies.

To stay in touch on water efficiency programs or for more information contact the team by emailing water.efficiencyprogram@dpie.nsw.gov.au.