Hunter Water is now in the final stages of the sale of the land purchased for the planned Tillegra Dam (NSW), which was cancelled in 2010.

Hunter Water Chief Operating Officer, Darren Cleary, said after Tillegra Dam was cancelled, Hunter Water moved to a program of identifying significant water savings.

“Modelling confirms there is no current need for a third dam in the Hunter and that a smarter, considerably cheaper way of managing our water storages is by helping homes and businesses become more efficient users.

“During the past five years Hunter Water has been working with its top 1 per cent of customers to identify ways of reducing their water use.

These are typically industrial companies who use tens of millions of litres of water each year. Free of charge, Hunter Water provides water efficiency experts to audit the water usage of these businesses, detecting leaks and installing solutions that manage their water use more efficiently.

“Some of the major savings for local businesses have been through new hose down nozzles for cleaning, new bathroom and kitchen fixtures in hotels and leak detection technology on large industrial sites.

“Smart metering technology showing real time water usage has been installed at education facilities throughout the Hunter and recently identified an underground leak running at 302,000 litres per day.

“Households have also contributed to saving water, with Hunter Water exchanging 5,000 water guzzling showerheads for water efficient models. Getting rid of the old style showerheads means we save around 90 million litres of water every year.

“Since Tillegra Dam was scrapped, this program of identifying water wastage has cut $3.3 million from the water bills of local businesses and saved enough drinking water to top up Chichester Dam by 7 per cent every year.

“And in the 12 months since Water Wise Rules were introduced a further 1 billion litres of water that was being used outdoors is now being saved and held in our dams at Chichester and Grahamstown. Hunter Business Chamber CEO Kristen Keegan said in an increasingly competitive market, reducing utility bills was smart business.

“Many local businesses have been feeling the pinch and looking at ways to do more with less.

“Hunter Water’s initiatives have ranged from waterless woks at Swansea Bowling Club through to recycled water at Orica saving 3.3 billion litres per year.

Big or small, it’s all money off water bills, which is good for the local economy and great for local business,” she said.

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