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Labor's plan for water savings by large industrial users.

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Labor's Plan For Water Savings By Large Industrial Users Media Statement - 20th November 2007

A Rudd Labor Government will help industry save water by establishing a Water Efficiency Opportunities program for large industrial water-users across Australia.

Federal Labor has a target of recycling at least 30 per cent of Australia’s wastewater by 2015.

Industry uses 15 to 20 per cent of water in Australia. Greater water efficiency and use of recycled wastewater by industry will take pressure off fresh water supplies in urban areas and in the Murray Darling Basin.

Reducing water usage from the commercial and industrial sectors will produce environmental benefits, productivity gains and net economic benefits for large water users. Furthermore, greater use of recycled water by industry will free up valuable drinking water and help increase environmental water flows in rivers.

Business water efficiency programs underway through the States and Territories are demonstrating the potential benefits of government support for commercial and industrial water efficiency. For example:

z In Victoria, one of Australia’s largest fruit juice processing companies entered

into a partnership with EPA Victoria and Lower Murray Water to identify water savings opportunities of 8,500 kilolitres and potential cost savings of $4,500 per annum. z In NSW, a major pharmaceuticals manufacturer joined in Sydney Water’s

Every Drop Counts program to implement wastewater recycling measures at a cost of $20,000, for projected savings of 11,000 kilolitres and $19,000 every year. z In Queensland, the State Government’s Business Water Efficiency Program

has provided over $350,000 in support for projects saving more than 80 megalitres of water every year.

A cost-benefit analysis prepared for the implementation of the current Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme identified benefits to commercial users from product labelling alone of $97 million - more than eight times the projected costs of the scheme.

There is a clear opportunity for national leadership to harness the potential for commercial and industrial water efficiency throughout Australia, mirroring the successful Energy Efficiency Opportunities program for large energy users to provide coordinated support for large water users.

Anthony Albanese

Labor will establish a Water Efficiency Opportunities program, providing a practical reporting framework and encouragement for large water users to:

z Improve the identification of cost-effective opportunities for increased water

efficiency. z Fast-track the implementation of cost-effective water savings measures.

z Report publicly on water savings measures, offering national recognition for

above-average water savings and efficiency. z Establish the Australian Prime Minister’s Water Wise Awards, providing

annual Gold, Silver and Bronze accreditation for industry leaders in water savings and efficiency. z Establish a network linking businesses with wastewater streams to those with

an identified use for recycled water. z Work with the States and Territories and water utilities to harmonise existing

commercial and industrial water efficiency programs, drawing on the expertise and experience of existing initiatives, avoiding duplication of resources and streamlining reporting requirements.

Participation in the Water Efficiency Opportunities program will be open to all commercial and industrial water users above a designated threshold to be determined in consultation with industry.

This initiative will help meet Labor’s national target to recycle at least 30 per cent of wastewater by 2015. As a nation, we must take action on water and climate change every year, not just in election years.

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 161 London Circuit, Canberra City, ACT 2600

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