Mid-Western Regional Council has secured a $1.2 million grant through round two of the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, which will see the introduction of ‘smart water meters’ across the region.
The water meters record hourly and daily water usage, with residents able to access the data via individual logins to the MWRC website, giving the ability to more easily detect leakage issues earlier. Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said that over 100 applications were made in this round of the program, with MWRC one of only around 30 who were successful.
“I think it shows just how strong and highly rated the Mid-Western Regional Council application was, because it’s a great way to build a strong, vibrant and sustainable community by doing something like this with smart water meters,” he said. “It means that residents will have a smart water meter installed and they’ll be able to monitor in real time their water usage.
“In 2015/16 there was about 140 million litres of lost water in this council area and a lot of that just went through leaks and if people have these smart water meters they’ll be able to monitor their usage and if they have a leak they will be able to detect it much sooner.
“It also allows residents to take control of their water consumption, so in a drought like we’re experiencing at the moment everyone has to do their bit to make sure we conserve the water we have, and this is a great opportunity for people in this council area to do just that. I think it shows just how forward-looking Mid-Western Regional Council is by going for these smart water meters, because it is cutting-edge, most communities are still on the old system of water meter reading at certain intervals and this takes them into the new age.”
MWRC general manager, Brad Cam, said the roll out is expected to occur over the next two years.
“They will replace the existing water meters and it allows real time monitoring, so not only can council staff look at the usage but so can the residents. And it will be going to every resident who has access to town water supply – so Gulgong, Kandos, Rylstone and Mudgee,” he said. “It’s very timely that Andrew [Gee] is here announcing this, because we now have an opportunity to have it 50 per cent funded by the Federal Government. So we’re very appreciative of the $1.2M towards this program.
“About 10 per cent of water is lost, which is quite significant particularly when we’re in the driest period and we’re looking for any way to try and supply water accurately to our residents. The tender has already gone out and council on Wednesday night will be accepting the tender, so we’re hoping that early in the new year we’ll start the roll out.”