Thank you Councillor Brown for sharing your concerns regarding the …

Comment on LETTER: Blow-in Enviro Nazis – hands off our water! by Les Seddon.

Thank you Councillor Brown for sharing your concerns regarding the Community Water Rules and for drawing attention to some popular water myths in Alice Springs.
Alice Water Smart presents an opportunity to make water saving choices without changing our Territory lifestyle and recognises that it is cheaper to save water now rather than pay for new water sources. The many projects that comprise Alice Water Smart offers opportunities for all Alice residents and organisations to participate. Typical water savings of 44% have been found for over 700 households through smart water efficiency measures that do not result in barren gardens or other lifestyle compromises, and save us all money!
The “Community Water Rules” arose due to community feedback and concerns over many years, about water use in Alice Springs. They are supported by Alice Water Smart to ensure the community can have their say.
The “Rules,” or whatever the community decides they should be called, will be voluntary. How they are implemented will also be something for the community to decide. They are not, and will not be mandatory. The community consultation process underway now will determine a set of guidelines for how all of us can be smart about our water use.
As a member of the Alice Springs Water Advisory Committee (ASWAC), I am sure Councillor Brown would be familiar with the management of water in Alice Springs.
Based on science, public consultation and ASWAC’s guidance, the Department for Land Resource Management establishes a “cap” on the amount of water Power Water Corporation can extract each year for public use. The cap is based on maintaining a sustainable yield to ensure the current supply from the Mereenie Aquifer lasts for as long as possible taking into account the town’s needs.
We are fast approaching this cap and the future options are to invest in more costly capital infrastructure to bring other sources online, or to do some work in demand management.
The Consortium Members of Alice Water Smart including Local, Territory and Federal Governments and community organisations all share the belief that it is sensible and responsible to address demand management, rather than increasing the cost of living. The water savings identified and implemented so far by residential and business participants in the program shows that reducing water consumption and costs of living is achievable in Alice Springs.
One of the many projects in Alice Water Smart includes upgrading Alice’s existing Recycled Water Scheme, with construction having started on new distribution pipelines to get better quality recycled water to new irrigation customers south of The Gap.
We look forward to more community input into the Community Water Rules at our third public workshop on Tuesday 4th December, from 6.30-8.30pm in the Andy McNeill Room at Council. You can also have your say on the Community Water Rules via our online survey at www.alicewatersmart.com.au
Les Seddon
Project Manager
Alice Water Smart

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