Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007
Canberra environmental performance
EN5: Total water use
- Implement water audit recommendations
- Complete follow-up audit on implementation of water audit recommendations
Performance 2005-06 and trends
The department’s total water usage in the JGB increased 13% to 20 094kL. This equates to 71L per person per work day. Normalised by office area, our water usage intensity increased to 0.88 kL/m2/annum, up 0.09kL. This is equivalent to an unofficial one star rating out of a possible five stars under the NABERS OFFICE - Water benchmarks, adjusted for the Canberra climate. A large proportion of the overall increase is due to the elevated consumption in the third quarter, when the AGO water issue was being resolved. Had consumption remained at constant levels, our actual usage was likely to have been closer to 18 567L, a 4% increase from 2004-05.
The 2005 water audit provided a number of key areas to address to continue to improve our water use efficiency; however, implementing the recommendations has proven to be a slow process, and this is reflected in the statistics above. As a tenant, the department is required to negotiate with the building owner to implement infrastructure changes to building services. Engaging a contractor to oversee the works has also proven difficult. It remains an ongoing process. Until the 2005 water audit recommendations are implemented, the scheduled follow-up audit will be postponed.
Water is an increasingly precious resource, and about 12% of potable (drinking) water use occurs in buildings. In light of the large body of DEH policy and programme work that addresses issues of water quality and use, the department aims to demonstrate leadership in our own use.
To ensure reliability, the figures used in this section are drawn from whole-of-building usage and attributed to DEH on the basis of our net lettable area as a percentage of all office space. This is consistent with last year’s reporting of figures that include building central services.
- Action the recommendations of the 2005 water audit report by December 2006
- Conduct a follow-up water audit following the implementation of the changes recommended in the previous audit report, scheduled for June and July 2007 to reflect the same period as the previous audit.
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