Ballarat residents – historically among the most efficient water users in Victoria – will soon be invited to share their views on how water can best green their city for generations to come.
Visiting Ballarat today, Minister for Water Peter Walsh said a draft strategy on the city’s water future would be released in May as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 million Living Ballarat project.
“Local residents are already leading the way in water efficiency, with research showing that around 90 per cent of buildings in the Ballarat and Maryborough districts use water efficient appliances and practices to reduce water use,” Mr Walsh said.
“Ballarat is also using innovative methods to harvest and reuse water. For example, the stormwater irrigation system at Ballarat Botanical Gardens is keeping the gardens green while saving millions of litres of water that was previously being carted in by Ballarat Council.
“The Living Ballarat strategy will build on this already strong commitment to using water efficiently.
“The draft will contain a range of water supply options to meet the challenges of a growing population and variable weather, with a focus on making better use of stormwater and rainwater.
“Local residents will be invited to share their views on those options, and the best ways in which they think Ballarat can source and use water into the future.
“Unlike Labor’s approach of expensive, oversized desalination plants and pipelines, the Victorian Coalition Government is looking at innovative, cost-effective approaches that encourage the use of alternative water sources.”
Mr Walsh said the Right Water house, an interactive, hands-on pop-up model that shows how to use the right water around the garden and home, would be located in Ballarat Botanical Gardens until April 27 in the lead up to the draft strategy’s release.
“In February I launched the Right Water campaign which is encouraging Victorian households to make greater use of rainwater for non-drinking purposes,” Mr Walsh said.
“I invite the Ballarat community to visit the Right Water house to learn how to use the right water around the garden and home and make greater use of rainwater, stormwater and recycled water.”
Visit livingvictoria.vic.gov.au/ballarat to register interest in draft strategy consultations, or to learn more about Living Ballarat.