Download PDF: ISPL Insight – National Water Week
National Water Week is held in the third week of October each year to create awareness of the value of water. Through encouraging individuals, communities, and organisations to think about our collective use of water, the week aims to help us understand the need to actively conserve and protect our valuable water resources, as well as water habitats.
Each year a theme is allocated for the week’s activities. This year the theme is ‘Water for me, Water for all,’ which encourages us to reflect on our day-to-day use of water and ways that we can more conservatively use our water to collectively strive for a more sustainable future (Australian Water Association, 2018).
National Water Week is a reminder that accessibility to clean water is vital to sustain life, and is important in every aspect of our day-to-day activities. With Australia being identified as Earth’s driest inhabited continent, it is important to be conscientious about our water usage. In recent years, Western Australia (WA) in particular has seen the progression of climate change more rapidly impact the state, than almost any other place on Earth (BBC, 2018). The last 15 years has seen Perth’s water supply decrease by approximately 80% of its 1970s volume (Guardian News, 2018). To bridge this shortfall, Perth has had to reinvent its water supply, where about 50% of water can now be supplied through two large desalination plants.
Innovative water management and technological advances are seeing great improvement in the protection and sustainable allocation of freshwater resources. Perth’s local Garden City Shopping Centre is one example, where acoustic listening equipment is being used to locate leaks in pipes, subsequently helping to reduce the centre’s water use by 10% (Guardian News, 2018). Western Australia’s Water Corporation (Water Corp) works with each business in the state that is recorded to use more than 20 million litres of water each year, to help effectively manage their water use. From this initiative, the Water Corp has seen Crown Promenade hotel reduce its water use by 25%, thanks to the cumulative changes of such actions as changing the flow strength of taps, and installing dual flush toilets (Guardian News, 2018).
Despite a growing population, our water consumption in WA actually decreased between 2005 and 2015 from 191,000 litres to 131,000 litres (per capita, per year). This fall has largely been attributed to an increased awareness of water protection and our collective efforts to conserve its supply.
There are many ways you can get involved in the conservation of water, whether it be in your home or local community for example, you can:
- Cleaning up a waterway near you by removing all the litter e.g. a river, stream, or wetland.
- Invest in water efficient goods (shower heads, taps, toilets, dishwashers etc.)
- Become a citizen scientist and participate in a community water management project (follow the link for a list of current projects around Australia https://www.business.gov.au/Assistance/Inspiring-Australia-Science-Engagement/Citizen-Science-Grants/Citizen-Science-Grants-Grant-Recipients ).
- Helping to educate our younger generation of the importance of water sustainability for our future
- Install a water meter and conduct a water audit of your home to see where you could be saving water, and money
With its focus on educating people about the values of water and its importance in society, National Water Week is a great opportunity to educate Australia’s younger generations. There are countless resources for parents, teachers and schools to actively engage children in how to protect and conserve water. To promote the week, the Australian Water Association is holding a colouring-in competition, which is open to all primary school children. For both primary and high school children, there is also a short film competition. Participants have until Friday 16th November to work on their creations. All the details, and additional activity ideas and educational resources can be found on the Australian Water Association website: http://www.awa.asn.au/AWA_MBRR/About_AWA/National_Water_Week.aspx.
Australian Water Association. (2018). National Water Week. Retrieved from http://www.awa.asn.au/AWA_MBRR/About_AWA/National_Water_Week.aspx.
BBC. (2018). How Australia’s Perth is battling a water crisis. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27225396.
Guardian News. (2018). Perth’s water worries: how one of the driest cities is fighting climate change. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/oct/06/perth-western-australia-drought-climate-change-water.
Water Corporation. (2018). National Water Week. Retrieved from https://www.watercorporation.com.au/home/education/events/national-water-week.