How Living Water Smart works

Living Water Smart is a Power and Water initiative to help the Darwin region reduce water use. In Darwin we currently use more water than can be captured and supplied in the long term. 

It’s not about going without or sacrificing our lifestyle. It’s about the community working together to reduce the amount of water wasted and respecting this natural and limited resource. Two thirds of Darwin residents think that our water supply is unlimited, but this is a myth. 

Living Water Smart wants to help the community understand where they use the most water at home or in their business. That way we can all successfully target key areas to make the biggest water savings.

The two biggest areas of water waste in the Darwin region are leaks and through overwatering our gardens. This is true for single dwelling homes, apartment blocks, big and small businesses and organisations, schools, and public green spaces such as parks, ovals and verges.

In Darwin homes, leaks account for 12% of our household use, and gardens a whopping 57%! Yes, most of your water is going on the green stuff.


Our Community Leak Check Program in 2017 saw our Leak Checkers check for signs of leaks at more than 30,000 residential water meters. We found that one in eight Darwin homes had a leak wasting an average of 500,000 litres, or $1000 per year.  In total there were over 6200 leaks fixed in a 12 month period, saving approximately 1 billion litres of water.  The Program in Darwin is now complete with the majority of the leaks identified fixed and as a result the rebates are no longer available. 

That's not to say that finding and fixing leaks is no longer important!  Leaks can spring up at any time and can result in thousands of dollars worth of water lost down the drain.  It's in everyone's interest to be vigilant and find and fix leaks as quickly as possible.  

Gardens and Irrigation

Living Water Smart has found that most Darwin residents overwater their gardens. But for many of us, the challenge of wrangling with our irrigation system or understanding how much water each plant needs is overwhelming.  We often aren't aware of broken irrigation pipes or leaks or how to fix them. And what about those brown patches on our lawn?  

Living Water Smart is here to help. You can book a Garden Tune Up Rebate, where one of our registered irrigation suppliers will come to your home or business to provide a free irrigation audit and water efficient gardening advice, including up to $50 of on-the-spot repairs - so you have the same great garden using less water.

Business and Industry

Water consumption in the Darwin commercial and industrial sector comprises approximately 25% of Darwin’s water use.  Often it’s the simple things that can save the most, like hidden leaks or irrigation systems, and other times it's a more tailored solution that is needed.  Living Water Smart offers Darwin businesses rebates and assistance to help save water and ultimately money off their bottom line - helping businesses concentrate on getting on with business!

Government and Councils

Another key focus area for Living Water Smart is working together with government and councils to ensure our public green spaces are being watered efficiently. We do this by providing information on the latest irrigation equipment and technologies, running training courses and assisting with Water Management Plans.


We haven't forgotten about our youngest residents and have a That's My Water! school curriculum unit that is a unique collaboration between Living Water Smart and Darwin primary schools. We work with school teachers and principals to help teach Grade 5 and 6 school students about the value of water and how they can help save water.  We also help schools save water and money by checking for leaks, and working with school gardeners and contractors to ensure all the gardens and ovals have the most efficient irrigation schedule.

Smart Metering

Smart metering will play an important role in reducing Darwin's water consumption and Living Water Smart is conducting a trial of 1000 smart meters on some residential and commercial properties. A smart water meter can allow residents and business owners to monitor patterns in their water so they can use water more efficiently, as well as being notified of leaks via an online web portal.

For more information contact Living Water Smart.


Many people think that Darwin has an endless supply of water, but this is a myth. We are currently using more water than can be captured and supplied in the long term.