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WA town backs waterwise irrigators

The city of Busselton, Western Australia, has launched a waterwise program in an initiative aimed at reducing the city’s water waste and increasing efficiency measures in gardens this summer.

A new waterwise program aiming to increase education has been launched by local water provider Busselton Water in partnership with Irrigation Australia.

The Waterwise Garden Irrigator Program urges the city’s irrigators to complete an online water efficiency education course to become “endorsed” as water-savvy, ultimately reducing water waste through reticulation installed in domestic households.

Situated around 200 km southwest of Perth in Western Australia, Busselton is home to 25,000 residents. Last summer, it had a rainfall deficiency of 86.67 percent.

Busselton Water managing director Chris Elliott said the program was important to increase education around best water practices.

"Whilst our groundwater aquifers are replenished by rainfall, the impacts of climate change and our drying climate means that our water source is finite," he said.

"It is because of this that we as a community need to adopt and increase our waterwise practices and behaviours. We encourage households to use a waterwise-endorsed irrigator when installing or reevaluating their reticulation systems.

"This is a tangible example of how individuals can help to preserve our precious water resource beyond sticking to the summer watering roster."

Mark Jury, a branch manager at local storage and management company Nutrien Water, said it was a busy time for irrigators with warmer weather, and many people were using their reticulation.

An irrigator endorsed by the waterwise program, Aron Brown, owner of ARB Landscaping and Fencing, said he signed up to the program to ensure he works towards the same set of best practice waterwise guidelines being used for irrigators across the state.

"There's some aspects of reticulation that irrigators do differently to one another, so implementing a set of guidelines is a good thing in my opinion," he said.

"It's important to have waterwise reticulation because it saves you water and therefore money. It's also saving a resource, which, at the end of the day, is our drinking water — we can't survive without it and so what's the point in wasting it?"

Busselton Water also has a waterwise school program to help instil good practises in the next generation. The program has been customised to the local environment and provides a broad introduction to water issues covering learning areas such as the local water supply, water conservation and water treatment.