Water Conservation Campaign


Where does Bunbury's water come from?

Bunbury's water does not come from surface storage dams as in the metropolitan area and many other parts of Western Australia.

AQWEST pumps our water from a large underground fresh water aquifer, called the Yarragadee aquifer which stretches from Bunbury to Nannup.

However, it is a limited resource recharged only by percolated rainfall, and the volume of water used by consumers now has an effect on the amount of water available in the future

Over-use of the Yarragadee aquifer will impact on the availability of water in the long term.



Why is water conservation important?

One of many requirements of Aqwest's Operating Licence issued by the Economic Regulation Authority, is to promote the water conservation message among consumers.

The water from our underground aquifer is precious and Aqwest has a responsibility to manage and protect it on behalf of the whole community.


Conserving our water also saves our customers money in two ways:

Aqwest's water consumption tariff system rewards consumers who save water.  Average water users are charged a low tariff, or rate, per kilolitre of water.  However, water wasters quickly move up to a higher tariff level.  The more you use the more you pay.


The Spring/Summer period is very important because this falls at the beginning of the Aqwest financial year.  Consumers who use too much water quickly in Spring/Summer move up to a higher tariff and continue to pay the higher rate for the remainder of the financial year.  Although consumers generally use less water in winter than the warmer months, the cost per kilolitre is based on the cumulative effect of the water consumption over the previous months.


Water conservation is an important part of Aqwest's long term planning strategy.  Construction of new facilities is very costly and consumers ultimately pay.


A controlled level of water consumption, which is promoted by the water conservation campaign, helps Aqwest better manage demand for water and therefore future expansion of water treatment plants and reservoirs.  If expansion can be planned in an orderly way so that the financial impact is reduced, all of our customers will benefit.


How to keep track of the water you use:

A successful Aqwest water conservation initiative has been the household meter reading consumption chart.  This helps consumers keep track of their consumption on a weekly and monthly basis.  Used correctly and regularly it is an effective guide to consumption between quarterly water accounts.


We recommend that consumers should read their water meters at the start of every week, record the consumption figure on the chart and compare it with the target figures provided.


You should only read the black figures, which measure kilolitres, from left to right.  For example, if a reading is 000123 in the black figures, that translates to 123 kilolitres.  If, four weeks later the reading is 000268 kilolitres, the household has used 145 kilolitres (or 145,000 litres) in the month, which is just under half the entire yearly average.  Alarm bells should be ringing.  At this point, contacting our Customer Service Team on (08) 9780 9500 to have this issue closely monitored would be a great idea.


How do I save water?

Water conservation is easy!  Up to 40% of household water consumption occurs in the garden and can be the major source of waste during the warmer months.  There are ways to save water inside and outside the home with just a few simple steps:


  • Always use a timer, either on the tap, through an automatic reticulation system or by using an oven timer.  

  • Make a water conservation garden with wind breaks, less lawn, more low water usage plant species and mulch.

  • Install an efficient watering system.

60% of total household consumption occurs inside.  Therefore small savings here could make a big difference:


  • Take shorter showers.  Long showers are a major water waster, not to mention increase your power bill!

  • Install a low-flow shower head.  These can be purchased from many hardware stores.

  • Check for leaks and replace washers regularly.

  • Use the washing machine sensibly - wash with a full load.

  • Install dual-flush toilet cisterns.

Tips to Save Water!

Download these great tips below on how to save water.


  Saving Water inside the Home (656 KB) 
   Saving Water around the Home (1.2 MB)
   Saving Water in the Garden (1.0 MB)
   Water Usage Chart (944 KB)

7 Top Watersaving Tips

1)  The magic word is mulch, mulch and more mulch. It’s critical it’s applied early to conserve as much water as possible in the soil.  If you have never used mulch before, now is the time to start. Soil that isn’t mulched dries out on those first warm days in spring.


2)  As it warms up, we see plants wilting and automatically think they are dry and reach for the sprinklers. Resist this urge; a quick dig and scratch around the root system will reveal damp soil.  The plants are only wilting because of the sudden heat.


3)  Lift the mower blades.  A longer lawn is a little like a living mulch – it protects and shields the root system from the searing heat.  The end result is less evaporation and less watering needed.


4)  Check to make sure your soil is not water repellent.  WA has some of the worst non-wetting soils in the world.  This means any water that is applied to the garden runs off and the plant’s roots don’t get any of it.  Early in spring, apply a wetting agent over the whole garden, either granulated or liquid to make sure the water soaks in and gets to the plants roots.  It could save your watering by up to 50%.


5)  Add water storing granules to pots and hanging baskets.  They hold water until the plants are ready to draw on it and last for up to 5 years.  Dig into the soil around existing pots and baskets.  Always have a container of these in the garden shed and, when potting, add a few teaspoons.  Annual beds and shrubs benefit from them being added under the root system when planting.


6)  Change areas of the garden watered by sprays to drip irrigation.  Select the dripper size based on the type of plants being watered i.e. native shrubs only need 4 lt/hour while roses benefit with an 8 lt/hour dripper.  Drippers are the most effective way of watering as the water is delivered to the plant’s roots where it is needed.


7)  Preparing a new garden bed is easy.  Good soil, quality mulch, water storing granules, wetting agent and correct watering will result in a fantastic garden – and ensure you group together plants that have similar watering needs.


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