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Working together to meet the challenge

OUR WORK AND HOW YOU CAN HELP

How we are going to meet the challenge

Our goal is to work with Auckland to co-design, develop and implement smart solutions to make our water go further. We looked at a wide range of options to improve water efficiency. Rather than try to do everything at once, we decided to focus on measures that can be implemented quickly, are sustainable over time and are likely to give the biggest benefit. We identified four interconnected areas where we will focus our work in order to make the most of our water:

● Focus Area 1: Making every drop of water count by reducing loss
● Focus Area 2: Improving oversight from source to tap
● Focus Area 3: Optimising pressure in our network
● Focus Area 4: Residential, community and commercial water efficiency


Focus area 1

Making every drop of water count by reducing loss

Our target is to keep our non-revenue water at or below 186 litres per connection per day by 2025, compared to the current 181 (FY21) litres. While all the factors above play a role, most of the losses are through network leaks. To fix this, we need to invest in leak detection and manage pressure in the network. Both activities can be effectively driven by centralised data that identifies the areas we need to focus on.


Focus area 2

Improving oversight from source to tap

We will continue to build a smarter network from source to tap, enabling proactive leak management and making water use more top-of-mind for our customers. Customers with undetected private leaks will be alerted to them faster and network leaks can be identified without people needing to report them.

Building a smart network means that we will develop a dynamic data model that measures loss across the network at any point in time. Greater data oversight will show us which areas are losing the most water, and which assets need to be upgraded or replaced.


Focus area 3

Optimising pressure in our network

Pipes with excessively pressurised water are more likely to break earlier, and leaks in these cases lose a lot more water. Pressure management reduces the instances and severity of leaks in both private and public pipes, and helps our assets last longer.

Through network intelligence and improved control of water distribution, we can achieve more stable (and typically slightly lower) water pressure within the network. Water pressure management is an integral part of Watercare’s strategy to reduce water wasted throughout the network.


Focus area 4

Residential, community and commercial water efficiency

To achieve our water efficiency goals, the relationship between Watercare and our customers needs to go beyond the transactional purchase of water and wastewater services - we need to work together. While Watercare must play a role in improving the network, Aucklanders to step up and rise to the challenge.

To reach water efficiency goals, Aucklanders will need to conserve more water at home, in public places and at work, and actively pursue water savings.

We are committed to ensuring that residential customers receive increasingly targeted helpful communications offering advice on how to save water at home. This includes information on home re-use and water collection systems in partnership with Council, iwi and other local organisations.

Residential water efficiency programme of work:

● Provide resources advice and research
● Ecomatters support and home water audits
● Help customers use data with Smart Meters


Watercare will keep working with businesses to ensure that they have access to the most up-to-date and helpful water saving advice for their industry, and new opportunities for re-use of water are identified and supported.

Commercial water efficiency programme of work

● Engage with top 100 commercial customers
● Work to promote re-use and recycling
● Introduce complete water audits

Auckland Council will continue it’s programme of improve water efficiency in parks, community facilities and public toilets.

Community water efficiency programme of work

● Double our school education programme
● Encourage children to be water guardians
● Engage and learn from local iwi
● Identify and co-design local water efficiency challenges

We are committed to ensuring that residential customers receive increasingly targeted helpful communications offering advice on how to save water at home. This includes information on home re-use and water collection systems in partnership with Council, iwi and other local organisations.

Residential water efficiency programme of work:

● Provide resources advice and research
● Ecomatters support and home water audits
● Help customers use data with Smart Meters


Watercare will keep working with businesses to ensure that they have access to the most up-to-date and helpful water saving advice for their industry, and new opportunities for re-use of water are identified and supported.

Commercial water efficiency programme of work

● Engage with top 100 commercial customers
● Work to promote re-use and recycling
● Introduce complete water audits

Auckland Council will continue it’s programme of improve water efficiency in parks, community facilities and public toilets.

Community water efficiency programme of work

● Double our school education programme
● Encourage children to be water guardians
● Engage and learn from local iwi
● Identify and co-design local water efficiency challenges

Recycling water

We also need to consider how we can recycle and reuse water in both commercial and residential settings. Water reuse is a growing trend worldwide, involving recycling wastewater back into the water network, directly or indirectly. Direct reuse takes highly treated wastewater from the treatment plant and puts the purified water back into the water network. Indirect reuse takes less highly treated used water and discharges it to another environment first, like a river, dam or aquifer catchment. Some novel approaches include on-site wastewater treatment and re-use for non-drinking purposes, like irrigation of large golf-courses, for example.

We want all of us to treat water as a taonga. We know that water is precious, and as Watercare we have the responsibility to provide guardianship – kaitiakitanga.

Resources

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