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Smart tech helping Gold Coast schools save water

Using smart logging technology, the City of Gold Coast is helping schools conserve water, save money and increase water literacy.

The School Water Conservation Program started in 2017 with a trial of 30 schools. It has now been rolled out across all Gold Coast schools, with about 75% actively engaging with their water use data. 

City of Gold Coast Sustainability Officer Tahlia Rossi said the goal was to educate the community and promote water conservation.

It began by installing outpost loggers, which attach to water meters and generate daily water consumption data.

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“Then we needed to engage with schools to let them know they had the new technology,” Rossi said.

“From there, we could move to benchmarking. Griffith University are also involved in the program and helped benchmark water use across the different schools and set a baseline for what is an average school’s water consumption.”

Rossi said engagement was vital to the success of the program, which has halved water leaks and saved schools about $1000 a day city-wide.

“We give [schools] a login to an online portal where they can see their total daily consumption as well as a demand profile and the associated cost of their water use,” she said.

“We also work with them to understand how to identify the leaks from the demand profile and the irrigation spikes.” 

The next step is to collaborate with schools to create a more holistic program. 

“We’re considering the potential to include waste and energy in the program, and how we could get a sustainable resource management program happening across the Gold Coast,” Rossi said.