Esperance Shire Council look to become Waterwise

Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Photo: Jesinta Burton.

The Shire of Esperance could soon become a Waterwise Council, joining 56 other WA local governments in a bid to improve water use efficiency in their operations.

The item is set to reach council during the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday evening, April 23, with shire officers having recommended council enter a Memorandum of Understanding with the Water Corporation and participate in the program.

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It is understood the state water service provider approached the shire about participating in the program back in 2018, to encourage behavioural changes in the community to reduce water demand.

The shire's acting chief executive officer Shane Burge said joining the program would benefit the organisation and the broader community.

"Essentially the aim is for both the Shire and community to use a limited resource more sustainably, reducing our impact on the environment and potentially reducing our costs," he said.

"Becoming a Waterwise council will allow the shire to have access to program resources that will see benefits across the organisation and the community."

"This includes having access to high quality promotional and educational material and additional funding opportunities.

"The program provides workshops, training and technical support that not only improve the skills of staff working in our parks and reserves and Building Maintenance departments but will see efficiencies and cost savings across the organisation.

"When we undertook community engagement for the Strategic Community Plan, there was strong support for reducing our reliance and protecting our water resources.

"Becoming a Waterwise Council is a step in this direction."

Whilst Mr Burge said it was unlikely there would be an immediate impact, the first twelve months would see the shire able to utilise free educational resources for schools and community groups.

"There are grants available for Waterwise Verges and, once we have a Waterwise Verge Policy, we can work with residents on developing an incentive scheme to access funding available," he said.

"There are also opportunities for community members to participate in projects and trials that encourage the sustainable use of water."

Council are expected to make a decision on their participation in the Waterwise Council Program on April 23.

More to come.