Efficient municipal irrigation in Australia
September 22, 2008
The City of Marion has developed a water-wise approach to irrigating its public reserves using a combination of tighter scheduling and improved infrastructure.
Watering according to needs, not schedule
Throughout the council area, ‘active’ recreation reserves are now only watered according to their base irrigation requirements, determined through a water efficiency model that considers local climatic conditions and vegetation type.
"Brown off', a part of Australia's landscape
Little or no watering of ‘passive’ recreation reserves allows them to ‘brown off’ over summer. Council worked with local media to encourage the community to accept the idea that ‘brown off’ is normal in the Australian climate.
Using native drought-tolerant plants
In addition to saving water, plants that are not suited to these new watering regimes are being replaced, where possible, with drought-tolerant local native alternatives.
Help for the Australian Government
An Australian Government Community Water Grant provided part of the funds toward the strategy. The grant assisted Council to conduct an irrigation audit, purchase subsurface irrigation, install water meters on bores and purchase water efficient appliances in seven key sports clubs in the council area.
- Water conservation – An annual reduction of 40 megalitres in consumption of mains and groundwater is expected at the sports clubs.
- Financial – Savings are anticipated from reductions in mains water consumption and reduced vandalism of irrigation equipment.
- Environmental – Replanting with drought-tolerant local native alternatives use less water and provides an added benefit to the restoration of Council’s indigenous biodiversity.
- Community leadership – Council has succeeded in generating community acceptance for ‘brown off’.
About the City of Marion
The City of Marion is located approximately 10 kilometres south-west of the Adelaide CBD with a population of 82,229. Council is an ICLEI member and joined the Water Campaign™ in 2005.
More about Australian Water Campaign™
More case studies from Australian Water Campaign™ participants are available in the Water Campaign™ Actions Profile 2008. (www.iclei.org/index.php?id=6561)