Although only about four percent of greater Sydney’s total water use is by government facilities, it is vital that government leads by example. The NSW Government Sustainability Policy sets targets and strategies for government agencies to reduce their water use by 15 percent by 2011.
NSW Government agencies which are high water users are required to prepare Water Savings Action Plans and implement cost effective improvements in water efficiency. Thirty four government agency sites and 44 local councils have completed Water Savings Action Plans to promote and achieve water wise use. These include 19 hospitals, five prisons and four education facilities. Cost effective actions identified in the plans will save more than 1.7 billion litres of drinking water.
The NSW Government’s NABERS OFFICE Water Rating Tool can be used to rate and improve the water performance of all its office buildings and tenancies.
Procurement requirements have been updated as well to ensure that agencies purchase only water efficient products.
The Water for Life Education Program is partnering with relevant government agencies to coordinate water education activities to support the implementation of the Metropolitan Water Plan.
In addition, the NSW Government has rolled out a program throughout Sydney to retrofit Department of Housing dwellings with water saving devices and appliances, provided free to tenants. Since November 2004 the program has visited over 73,700 households resulting in savings of 1.54 billion litres a year.
To find out more view Chapter 6 of the 2010 Metropolitan Water Plan (PDF).