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The Australian Water Association’s National Water Week has begun, running from 18-24 October – aiming to inspire the community and build awareness around the value of water. 

The #NWW2021 theme is Caring for Water and Country, celebrating the vital and cultural role that water plays in everyday life. 

Recognising the importance water plays in our lives, Caring for Water and Country aims to deepen understanding of Australian First Nations people’s knowledge in protecting and sustaining the country’s water and lands for over 65,000 years.

As the national host and organiser for the week, the Australian Water Association encourages organisations, schools and communities to create, take part in, organise and promote National Water Week events, activities and educational resources. 

The water industry is also celebrating National Water Week in a variety of ways. 

Central Highlands Water 

Central Highlands Water is celebrating by announcing the winners of their 2021 National Water Week poster competition, with Angeleen Jenkins, CHW Chair, announcing the winners of the primary school competition. 

The winners are announced here https://youtu.be/wm9v0686Me8 

MidCoast Council 

MidCoast Council celebrated and raised awareness for National Water Week by sending  activity packs to preschools and primary schools, and will be sharing a number of videos and social media posts throughout the course of the week, highlighting some of the great work that is being done to conserve water across the MidCoast.

MidCoast Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott, said it was a great opportunity to reflect on the stewardship the Biripi and Worimi people had demonstrated towards the region’s natural water sources.

“These rivers and aquifers were vitally important to the traditional custodians of this land and they continue to sustain us today,” Mr Scott said. 

“It’s a strong reminder to us all that if we look after our waterways and use water sustainably, nature will continue to provide for us.”

While the pandemic has forced Council to cancel its traditional Whizzy the Waterdrop, who usually visits with his friends to preschools across the region to celebrate, there are still a number of initiatives planned. 

“There’s also still time to complete our community water survey and go in the running to win one of five $100 ShopMidCoast gift cards,” Mr Scott said. 

Hunter Water 

Hunter Water is calling on the Lower Hunter community to show how they value and conserve water, by helping celebrate Love Water Day as the local highlight event during National Water Week.

The online event will be held on the 23 October, to raise awareness of water conservation heading into summer and how the community can make smart water choices. 

Hunter Water Managing Director, Darren Cleary, encouraged residents and businesses to get involved on Love Water Day.

“Even though recent wet weather is keeping our water storages in good shape, we all know how quickly our region’s water supply can run low when it turns dry,” Mr Cleary said. 

“During National Water Week, Hunter Water will launch a new phase to our successful Love Water campaign to encourage us all to think of the value of water in our lives and how to make smarter choices in how we use it.”

Hunter Water encourages residents and businesses to show the water saving choices they make by posting a photo or short video on Facebook or Instagram, tagging @ourhunterwater and using the hashtags #LoveWater and #LoveWaterDay.

Barwon Water 

Barwon Water is also encouraging its community to join it in celebrating National Water Week.

Barwon Water Managing Director, Tracey Slatter, said she knew how passionate many people were in the region about water and the role it plays in the lives of every living thing.

“Being in the water industry, National Water Week is a very special week in our calendar,” Ms Slatter said. 

“This year’s theme, Caring for Water and Country, encourages us all to reflect on the relationship our First Nations people have with the environment, and how they cared for the lands and waterways we now live and work on over many thousands of years.

“By acknowledging and exploring this deep cultural connection, we further develop our understanding of how best to overcome the challenges and impacts of climate change in our region, while maintaining a focus on the health of our lands and waterways.”

To help celebrate the week, Barwon Water partnered with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, along with other Victorian water corporations and catchment management authorities to co-host an online event designed to help everyone “Explore your backyard”. 

The Explore Your Backyard event was launched on 17 October with an exclusive Facebook Live chat between Costa the Garden Gnome (Costa Georgiadis), and Coliban Water’s Managing Director, Damien Wells, as they discussed all things garden and water related.

Barwon Water is also holding live webinars, on-demand videos, fun experiments, book readings and offering a range of printable resources and activities to help the community explore their backyard, local park or waterway, and use water efficiently.

Ms Slatter encouraged everyone to visit the National Water Week page on Barwon Water’s website and the Facebook page for further information and links to the various sessions. 

“I wish everyone a fun and happy National Water Week,” Ms Slatter. 

Waterwise Perth Action Plan 

The Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, marked the start of National Water Week 2021 by acknowledging the first two years’ achievements of the government’s Waterwise Perth Action Plan.

The first two years of Waterwise Perth Action have delivered significant water savings and enhanced the Perth and Peel region’s resilience to impacts of climate change, and has saved 535 million litres of water.

Major achievements delivered through the plan to date include:

  • 300 million litres of water saved through the Leak Assist Rebate Scheme
  • 92 million litres of water saved through the Water-efficient Showerhead Swap Scheme
  • 142.7 million litres of water saved through retrofitting of public housing with water-efficient fixtures
  • 49,000 students participated in the Waterwise Schools Program
  • 84,000 waterwise plants planted across Perth and Peel suburbs
  • 3,500 trees planted across 18 Perth and Peel local governments

Mr Kelly said, “National Water Week is a good time to not only reflect on the value of water to our lives, but also the impact that climate change is having on our water supplies and what we can all do to save this precious resource.

“The Waterwise Perth Action Plan helps create a clear link between water management and concepts such as urban planning, urban heat, river and wetland health, contaminated soils, public health, recreation, and biodiversity.

“It calls on everyone in the community to play a role including government, businesses, industry, local governments and households – no single organisation can transition Perth to a waterwise city on its own.

“As we launch into the next two years of the plan and release of the next Waterwise Perth Action Plan, we need to continue the collaborative, whole of government approach as Perth and Peel transition to a city that is truly waterwise and resilient to the impacts of climate change.

“The next waterwise plan will build on the successes and achievements of the first, and will be released in coming months.”

To read more about the Waterwise Perth Action Plan, click here.

To complete the MidCoast Council survey, visit: https://haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/community-water-survey 

Visit Barwon Water’s national water Week page here: https://www.barwonwater.vic.gov.au/community-and-education/teachers-and-students/national-water-week-2021 

For more information about National Water Week visit: http://www.awa.asn.au/AWA_MBRR/About_AWA/National_Water_Week.aspx

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