Big drop is aim for water usage

Cr Greg Boland and resident Brett Donovan with water wise plants. Picture: Robin Kornet d400795
Cr Greg Boland and resident Brett Donovan with water wise plants. Picture: Robin Kornet d400795

Cottesloe councillor Greg Boland said the Town had cut back on its water use and was subsiding native plants for residents to replace lawns and water-hungry species.

‘But they need to take advantage of this winter weather so new plants are established before the weather turns dry again,’ he said.

Cottesloe Civic Centre water use has dropped 57 per cent, from 2000 kilolitres to 800kL, and the volumes used on parks and grounds fell from 3300kL to 1500kL since the council started the Water Corporation-backed ICLIE Waterwise Campaign in 2006.

Measures to cut water use included dual-flushing toilets in the Civic Centre, fixing leaking beach showers, sending road run-off to the underground aquifer and not watering verges and median strips.

Parks’ and municipal gardens’ irrigation was analysed so the areas in most need of water were only sprayed at the coolest times and watering took advantage of any rain.

However, during council’s participation in the campaign, water use by each of Cottesloe’s 8222 residents fell only slightly, from 130kL in 2005 to 127kL in 2010-11 when the council last audited the impact of its savings.

‘But I would have to say our initiatives, including our Think Water campaign to encourage reduced water use, have contributed to residents’ water wise awareness,’ sustainability officer Nikki Pursell said.

Marmion Street resident Cherise Haslam made her 15m-wide verge water wise with saltbush, ground cover wattles, gums, Fremantle mallee and emu bushes planted four years ago, and she has never watered the now lizard and bird-filled environment since it was established.

Plants are $1.50 at APACE Nursery in Johanna Street, North Fremantle until May 25.