What is unique about Water Corporation?
We provide water, wastewater and drainage to more than 2.2 million customers across an area of more than 2.6 million square kilometres, which makes us one of the largest water utilities in the world in terms of the geographical area we service.
Providing sustainable water services in a drying climate
In the early 2000s we began to consider the possibility that we could no longer rely on rainfall for Perth water supplies. We believe we have successfully moved Perth’s water supply away from a reliance on dams through a three-pronged approach that includes reducing water use, developing new sources and increasing water recycling. This is an ongoing challenge that will require continued work over the coming years as we continue to adapt to the changing climate.
Last year, Perth’s dams only received 80.5 billion litres of inflow. To put this into perspective – we supply around 300 billion litres of water to customers connected to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS), so this is less than a third of what our customers use.
Reducing water use
Over the last ten years our Perth customers have reduced their per person water use from 191 kilolitres to 132 kilolitres last financial year. We continue to work with our business and industrial customers to help reduce their water use. Last year we saved over 100 billion litres of water in Perth through a range of water efficiency initiatives introduced over the last decade.
Developing new sources
Seawater desalination is the cornerstone of the water supply to the IWSS. That said, the work of our customers to reduce their water use has also been pivotal – over the last decade water saving efforts have contributed to 100 billion litres of water saved each year.
We have also invested in groundwater replenishment as Perth’s next climate independent water source. Groundwater replenishment is the process where treated wastewater goes through an advanced water treatment process to drinking water standards and is then recharged back into groundwater supplies for future use as drinking water.
The first stage of groundwater replenishment will deliver seven billion litres of water each year and is planned for completion in June 2016. Stages two and three will be built to meet population growth and water supply demands and will supply up to 28 billion litres of water each year.
Increasing water recycling
Over the past 10 years the volume of recycled wastewater has increased by almost 75 per cent across the State. In Perth, this includes groundwater replenishment, irrigation of parks and ovals with recycled water and providing fit-for-purpose water for industrial use at the Kwinana Water Recycling Plant.
Fresh Water Thinking
We’re continuing to work with our customers to deliver and encourage Fresh Water Thinking. We’re constantly looking for new ways to provide better service for our customers.
Our strong customer focus has seen the introduction of two-monthly billing and our self-service website, My Water.
Billing every two months aims to make payment more manageable for customers by spreading annual costs across six bills, instead of larger accounts distributed less often. Issuing smaller, more manageable bills more frequently will also allow customers to track their water use, detect leaks earlier and assess their water efficiency efforts sooner.
My Water allows customers to view and pay their bills online, update personal details, view water use, set up direct debits from their bank account or credit card and arrange for paperless billing. We’ll continue to make enhancements to the website in order to incorporate customer feedback.
What type of occupations will Water Corporation need more of in five years time?
One area of our business that continues to grow is our team of digital specialists. This team works to ensure our customer focus is delivered through our online mediums – including social media and our website.
This is a growing area with more and more customers taking to social media to ask questions and find out more about our business.
What will Water Corporation look like in ten years?
We’ll continue to work towards targets set in our 50-year plan, Water Forever to ensure we deliver the best service for our 2.2 million customers across Western Australia.
Can you sum up Water Corporation in three words?
Fresh Water Thinking.