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My water

The Gold Coast is one of eight Councils in South East Queensland (SEQ) to be officially drought declared by the State Government. Mandatory water restrictions are not proposed to be implemented within SEQ until combined dam level storages reach 50 per cent, forecasted for 2020 following a dry summer. At this stage being water-wise is a priority for the City and our community.

Prolonged dry conditions across the region have resulted in the lowest inflows of water into SEQ dams in the past decade. While Hinze Dam and the Desalination Plant are located on the Gold Coast, it’s important to remember that we are part of the SEQ Water Grid, with one interconnected supply. This means that the water is moved within the SEQ region depending on where it’s needed most.

Queenslanders have always looked after each other through drought or flood and we need to be ready to do this again by using water wisely. Changing our behaviours now can make a big difference for our future and we encourage everyone to use water more sustainably.

Water restrictions

At this time there are no water restrictions on the Gold Coast. Mandatory restrictions are not proposed to be implemented within SEQ until combined dam level storages reach 50 per cent, forecast for 2020. Find up to date information on water restrictions on the Queensland Government – water restrictions website.

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Time to reduce

  • Take a shorter shower – aim for less than 4 minutes
  • Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth or shaving. This will save up to five litres per minute.
  • Half fill the sink to rinse dishes or clean fruit and vegetables.
  • Have a full load before using your dishwasher or washing machine.

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Leaks – find them and fix them fast

  • Fix internal property leaks, including taps and toilets – even a slowly dripping tap can waste 10,000 litres of water over a year.
  • Inspect your pool and spa frequently – under pressure, a tiny leak in a plumbing system can cause losses of more than 3000 litres in one day.

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Outdoor use

  • Always use a trigger hose, bucket or watering can when washing your car or watering the garden.
  • Wash the car on the lawn – the lawn will get a good watering at the same time.
  • Use a broom to sweep paved outdoor areas instead of hosing them down.
  • Install flow-controlled aerators on taps. You could save more than six litres per minute.

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Garden-wise

  • Minimise lawn areas and plant water-efficient native trees and plants.
  • Collect your shower water so you can reuse it on your garden/pot plants.
  • Use good mulch – mulching can prevent up to 70 per cent of evaporation, improves soil and discourages weeds.
  • Compost food scraps, lawn clippings and garden organics – compost enriches the soil by helping it to absorb and hold more water.
  • If you need to water your garden please use a trigger nozzle hose, bucket, or watering can and water in the early morning or late afternoon. This will prevent the loss of water through evaporation.

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Water efficiency

  • If you buy a new washing machine, choose a water-efficient model with a minimum ‘4 Star’ rating. This will save up to 50 litres a wash in the washing machine and if each cycle is a full load this will save up to 10 litres each wash.
  • If you buy a new dishwasher choose a water-efficient model with a minimum ‘4 Star’ rating. A water-efficient dishwasher uses less water than washing your dishes in the sink and if you wait until you have a full load before.
  • Install flow-controlled aerators on taps. You could save more than six litres per minute.
  • If you don’t already have one, install a dual-flush toilet. You’ll save up to nine litres every time you use the half flush instead of the full flush.
  • Invest in a pool cover, this can reduce water loss to evaporation by as much as 90 per cent and save up to 36,000 litres per year.
  • Water efficiency isn’t just for households, advocate for water-efficient items in your workplace.

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Technology and tools

  • Smart water meter technology, like a data logger can be fitted to existing meters to ensure near real-time water monitoring.
  • If you use evaporative air conditioners, set your thermostat to 24°C.
  • Switch off heating and cooling after hours.

How we're creating change

The City of Gold Coast is in the initial phase of proactively converting over 4000 existing water meters to smart water meters. Smart water meter devices are fitted to your existing water meter allowing for the collection, transmission and analysis of high resolution water-use data. Smart water meters allow customers to automatically track the amount of water they use, giving them greater visibility and control over their usage.

Smart water meter technology is already helping schools across the city as part of the Schools Water Conservation Program. The program has helped schools to quickly identify leaks, keep track of usage patterns and improve their overall water literacy. Smart water meters in schools has saved 85 ML since June 2019 — if these leaks went unchecked that would equate to a full days’ water usage for the entire city.

As part of the City’s response to improved water saving we will endeavour to respond to all reported water leaks on City land within 24 hours.

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