The West

Recycle esky ice, minister urges
Recycle esky ice, minister urges

Water Minister Bill Marmion has urged people to limit their showers to four minutes and recycle melted ice from eskies this summer as part of moves to conserve Perth's delicate water supplies.

Relaunching the Water Corporation's Target 60 campaign yesterday, Mr Marmion said he hoped the strategy would save 15 billion litres over the coming months after one of the driest winters on record.

Labor and the Greens immediately branded the move as desperate and likely to fail, saying the State Government should instead reintroduce a rebate scheme for water-efficient appliances.

The campaign, which was first introduced in 2010 after a similarly dry winter, aims for every scheme-water customer in Perth, Mandurah and Kalgoorlie to slash their use by 60 litres a day.

Mr Marmion acknowledged last year's campaign had failed to achieve the same results as 2010 - when 15 billion litres were reportedly saved - but remained hopeful people would listen to the message.

Consumption of scheme water fell by just seven billion litres last year despite the campaign, which has cost the Water Corporation millions of dollars in marketing and advertising.

"Last year we only saved about seven (billion litres) because I think we came off the back of a normal winter," Mr Marmion said. "Two years ago it was a very dry winter and people realised that and I think there was more effort to save water.

"I think people realise it's been another dry winter and so I'm hoping people will do what they did two years ago."

Shadow water minister Fran Logan dismissed the Target 60 campaign, saying its track record was dubious and it amounted to "begging" people not to use as much water.

He called on the Government to bring back a version of the former government's Waterwise rebate scheme, which was scrapped in 2009 amid claims people understood the water efficiency message.

Greens MLC Alison Xamon echoed the comments, saying "people need more than to simply be told to save 60" and a subsidy program would be popular.

"These are practical measures that people actually want - we've seen that," she said.

Ms Xamon also questioned the effectiveness of previous Target 60 campaigns. Did you know 357.7b Litres of water supplied by the Water Corporation in 2011-12

The West Australian

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