Page 12

Eco Action

Saving water in Perth’s fast-growing suburb

A

s the population booms in Perth’s outer suburbs,

As many council areas face the triple threat of water

future-proofing new parks and buildings from

restrictions, increasing population and demand for recreational

tighter water restrictions is becoming one of

facilities, City of Swan’s new Ellenbrook Sports Hub is

local government’s greatest challenges.

a paradigm shift.

WA’s capital is facing a drier climate. Its football grounds

Using synthetic turf saves about 35,000 kL of water

and cricket fields all need watering but the prospect of

a year — equivalent to 14 Olympic-size swimming pools.

tighter water restrictions means innovative solutions are required by local governments. In the City of Swan’s growth corridor, about 20 km northeast of Perth, the struggle between providing community facilities and conserving water is particularly noticeable. The population of one of the City’s (and Australia’s)

The four synthetic soccer fields opened in September 2016 and are adaptable to five-a-side futsal, small sided AFL, touch rugby and ultimate Frisbee — set to service the community for decades to come. Meanwhile, population growth necessitates the construction of more community centres and pavilions.

fastest growing suburbs — Ellenbrook — spiked from

The City of Swan is trialling new water storage

about 14,000 residents in 2006 to more than 40,000 in

techniques in community buildings built in new suburbs

2016. Similar growth is expected in new subdivisions over

such as Aveley, where underground and external tank

the next decade too, presenting the City of Swan with

systems supply most of the facilities water needs.

further challenges.

“While urban expansion presents environmental

Several years ago, the City needed a solution to provide

challenges, it also presents opportunities to trial new water

playing fields for the Ellenbrook district. Faced with the

and energy-saving technologies,” Mayor Wainwright said.

obstacles of limited land, the exploding population and no

“There is so much opportunity in suburbia to iron

water allocation, the City needed an innovative solution to

out the best ways to approach rainwater harvesting and

secure recreational space.

tailoring that to the use of the building.”

Mayor Mick Wainwright said research determined

“The benefit of these systems is not always economic,

traditional grass turf would simply not cope with the

but as water restrictions become tighter, it becomes a

future wear and tear caused by the burgeoning community,

moral decision for local governments to implement these

whereas synthetic turf could handle three times the use.

technologies.”

“We proceeded to build the largest synthetic playing surface in the southern hemisphere,” he said. “Not only can the rectangular synthetic surface handle a higher turnover of teams, the watering and overall cost is lower than natural turf.”

12 Sustainability Matters - Apr/May 2017

“We look forward to trialling more technologies and investigating their most efficient application.” City of Swan www.swan.wa.gov.au

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Sustainability Matters Apr/May 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Apr/May 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...