How you can easily save 30 litres of water every day
BALLINA Shire residents currently use about 190 litres of water per person per day.
To reach the current Level 2 restrictions of water consumption, the target is only 25 to 30 litres per person, and the local council can help with that.
Bridget Walker, manager of Water and Wastewater at Ballina Shire Council, said the target was a lot easier to reach that people imagine.
"Our historical average of water consumption is 10.5 megalitres a day," she said.
"The current level 2 restrictions are targeting a 15 per cent reduction in consumption.
"Typically, Ballina Shire residents use about 190 litres of water per person per day, so when we are talking about a 15 per cent reduction, we are only talking about 25 to 30 litres in reduction of consumption per person."
Ms Walker said there were simple ways to achieve that target.
"You average garden hose uses 20 litres of water per minute, so if you cut two minutes off the time you spend watering your garden, you will be saving more than 30 litres a day," she explained.
"The average shower uses nine litres a minute, so if you cut three minutes off your shower you'll save 27 litres, so it's not a really challenging target.
"It's more about being aware of where the water is going."
Ms Walker confirmed the majority of water consumption in the Ballina Shire is residential, but the council is also asking businesses to achieve 15 per cent reduction of water use at the moment.
"A lot of businesses have similar restrictions than the ones applied to residential areas, so it's about using low-flow high pressure cleaners instead of the average garden hose, also it's about not building new fountains and being sensible, restricting the amount of water used when establishing gardens," she said.
"Some businesses depend on water for their livelihood, businesses like nurseries, car washers, etc so we are trying not to adversely impact businesses but we are working with them trying to find efficiencies."
Since restrictions came into place in mid-December, the council has received more than 150 calls from residents for support and to clarify the limitations on use of the resource.
The Water and Wastewater Section of council has also been talking with about four businesses a day, helping them understand their responsibility so they can comply with the restrictions.
Ms Walker, who has been in the role for three years, said her team looks after everything to do with water and wastewater services for Ballina Shire.
"As part of that we collect everyone's waste water and we treat it at one of our four wastewater treatment plants, we produce recycled water at three of our treatment plants, and we also treat and supply drinking water from Marom Creek plant, and it goes to Wardell, Meerschaum Vale and Cabbage Tree Island.
"We also distribute drinking water to the rest of the Ballina Shire that we get from Rous County Council."
If Ballina was to go to Level 3 restrictions in the future, Ms Walker said every business will have to develop a water management plan, which is basically a review of how much water they use, and looking at how can they achieve a 25 per cent reduction in their water use.