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The Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Water

Water Loss Management Program achievements announced

Media release
7 April 2010
MK 05/10

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The water saving achievements of Orange City Council, Gosford City Council and Dubbo City Council were announced today by Parliamentary Secretary for Water, Dr Mike Kelly.

"Over 1.5 billion litres of water have been saved under the Water Loss Management Program since it was announced in March 2006, with final savings expected to exceed 7.5 billion litres per year," Dr Kelly said.

"The Australian Government, through its Water for the Future - Water Smart Australia program, has provided $7.39 million in funding for the Water Loss Management Program and it is encouraging to recognise the early successes the program has had in increasing urban water use efficiency."

The Australian Government's Water for the Future framework is a comprehensive national response to managing water resources in both rural and urban areas. Water for the Future has four key priorities:
taking action on climate change; using water wisely; supporting healthy rivers and securing water supplies.

The program supports regional NSW local water utilities' efforts to reduce leakage from their drinking water distribution systems by providing specialist knowledge and equipment to help local staff identify, develop and implement water saving projects.

Seventy-four regional water utilities from across NSW have signed up to the program. Orange City Council, Gosford City Council and Dubbo City Council are among the first to have completed their water loss management projects.

"The city councils of Orange, Gosford and Dubbo have shown through their projects that active leakage detection, permanent metering and pressure management together deliver cost effective water loss reduction," Dr Kelly said.

"I congratulate these councils on their achievements and encourage the remaining 71 councils participating in the program to continue the good work."

Projects that are funded by the Water Loss Management Program aim to recover 10 000 to 15 000 million litres of water per annum by making existing infrastructure more efficient, to prevent or postpone the need to build additional water supply infrastructure, and to develop understanding and a skills base in water loss management.

The Water Loss Management Program is a joint initiative of the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, the Water Directorate and the Australian Government.

For more information on the Water Loss Management Program or Water Smart Australia visit

Attachment: Project details of Orange, Dubbo and Gosford City Councils

Project details of Orange, Dubbo and Gosford City Councils

Orange City Council Leakage Reduction Project

Completed in August 2009, the Orange City Council Leakage Reduction project, through the Water Loss Management Program, achieved 164 per cent of the predicted water savings. An active leakage detection campaign and a minor reduction in pressure led to the positive result.

Further savings were also made due to identification of water loss from the treatment plant, however these savings were not included in the overall measurements.

The final result of water savings of 501 million litres per year, or 164 per cent of the predicted water savings was achieved through only 66per cent of the original predicted project cost.

Water savings were achieved through installing flow meters on all feeds into the city. To get an accurate measurement, leak detection work was carried out for one month and an exercise was also undertaken to isolate all reservoirs on one night.

Pressure reduction activities carried out throughout Orange showed that the original minimum night flow was recorded at 42.8 litres per second, however through reducing the pressure, the minimum night flow was recorded at 26.9 litres per second, resulting in a difference of 15.9 litres per second which equates to approximately 501 million litres per annum.

Dubbo - Water Loss Management Project Phase 1

Dubbo City Council have implemented a water loss management project through installation of flow metering and pressure management equipment, and undertaking active leakage detection. Phase 1 of this project has delivered approximately 175 sper cent of predicted savings or 201.4 million litres per year. Dubbo City Council are currently undertaking a Phase 2 project that is expected to deliver a further 180 million litres per year in water savings.

Gosford City Council - Water Loss management with Pressure Management in St Huberts Island and Patonga

Gosford City Council have established two small pilot areas where active leak detection and repair, permanent metering and pressure management have delivered a water saving of over 100 million litres per year. The reduction in water loss has lead to a water usage profile that meets best practice levels. The installation of permanent metering with continuous monitoring has enabled to identify a new leak occurring after the project work was complete, showing that the project will be able to deliver sustainable savings.

Commonwealth of Australia