A Power and Water initiative.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we have to be smarter with water?

Our current rate of water consumption is not sustainable. We are getting to a stage where our water supply cannot keep up with demand in both our growth and how much we use per person.

We get plenty of rain during the wet season, why do we need to reduce what we use?

There is a misconception that there is an endless supply of water due to the massive amount of rainfall during the wet season. However, most of that rainfall is not captured. We also have very high rates of evaporation during the dry season when it doesn’t rain for more than six months. Because Darwin River Dam is very wide and relatively shallow, two thirds of the water we use from it evaporates each year.

I’ve lived in the Darwin region for a long time and I’ve never had to think about how much water I’ve used before. Why now?

Circumstances have changed and Darwin is growing at a rapid rate. The amount of water we use individually is also increasing. We need to make sure there is enough for everyone and that it is used efficiently.

Why should I reduce my use?

Darwin residents use more than twice as much water as comparable regions and up to three times as much as southern cities. There is plenty of capacity to reduce our water consumption without sacrificing our tropical lifestyle. Our water supply is getting to a stage where supply cannot keep up with demand and the current supply is the cheapest source we have. So it makes sense to use what we have more efficiently.

The hot weather up here means I need to use more water, isn’t it part of living in the Top End?

We use a lot of water outdoors and we love our gardens, but a lot of water is wasted and used unnecessarily. It’s not about changing our lifestyle, but about being smarter and using water more wisely, small changes in behaviour will go a long way in saving water without changing our lifestyle.

Why should I reduce my water use when councils and government are constantly wasting water?

Everyone including councils and government have a part to play to use water more efficiently. Water is a precious resource that must be respected and valued by everyone to ensure there is an adequate supply for the future.

Isn’t there another source of water such as Manton Dam if required?

The operation of Manton dam as a drinking water supply source will affect water levels. The plan to bring Manton dam back on line has been a part of the Darwin Region Water Supply strategy for securing future water supply, however as a last resort, it would need to be heavily treated to ensure it is suitable for drinking purposes. It makes sense to use what we have more efficiently first, especially if reductions can be made by reducing waste without affecting our lifestyle.

Are residential users having to compromise their use so new investments and developments are looked after?

No. This is about the whole community, respecting a valuable resource, looking after it and using it responsibly and we can all do this and play our part and still enjoy our great tropical lifestyle. There is enough water for every one provided we are all efficient with what we have which in turn makes it cheaper for everyone.

Is there a plan to build a new dam?

There are many issues and significant costs to build a new dam. It makes more sense at this time to be more efficient with our water use and defer for as long as possible the capital expense of new infrastructure.

Is there a possibility of water restrictions being introduced?

Not at the moment. There is an existing four stage water restriction policy which is triggered by falling water levels in Darwin River Dam. This campaign is about the Darwin region reducing water use so we don’t have to get to that point.