The West

Water conservation push to start soon
Water conservation push to start soon

A water efficiency program will start next month to bring Manjimup back from the brink of water shortages.

The Water Corporation will try to reproduce the success it had in Margaret River, which resulted in a 10 per cent reduction in water consumption.

The program will provide free water efficient shower heads, tap aerators and leaking tap repairs for all customers and dual-flush toilets for customers in the Manjimup townsite.

The program is also designed to teach people how to conserve water — a move that has achieved a 12 per cent reduction in water usage among past participants.

Water Corporation spokesman Ashley Vincent said he was confident Manjimup could see a similar reduction in water usage.

‘‘Manjimup is already a water efficient town, but we still expect to get 10 to 15 per cent reduction in water usage without impacting on people’s lifestyles,’’ he said.

Last month it emerged months of low rainfall had reducedManjimup’s dam levels to 28 per cent, resulting in stage six water restrictions being enforced, more water trucking from Big Brook Dam and private dams being used to supply the town.

A pipeline connecting Manjimup to the Bridgetown Regional Scheme will be constructed subject to approvals by spring 2013 to secure a reliable water supply during future periods of low rainfall.

The Water Corporation met with key stakeholders and the Manjimup Shire Council on Friday and has started installing data loggers to help big customers monitor their water usage.

Manjimup shire president Wade De Campo cautiously welcomed the action being taken by the Water Corporation but insisted something should have been done earlier.

‘‘We saw the impact from the 2010 drought and a strategy should have been put in place then,’’ he said.

‘‘Now we’re at something like 25 per cent capacity and once again we’re trying to play catch up.

‘‘The fact is water trucking to Northcliffe and, until now, Walpole has been going on for two years, which has been putting more pressure on Manjimup’s supply.

‘‘It’s ironic the drying climate is what has finally helped us to secure a water supply for the town for the future.’’

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