Water Innovation in White Gum Valley
October 20, 2015 2 Comments
Today many of WA’s experts on water and sustainability gathered at City Farm to hear about how the new White Gum Valley (WGV) development was setting a new high benchmark in Perth in terms of water use and efficiency.
As Water Corporation chief executive Sue Murphy said this comes at a very important time for Perth and water. This winter has seen the equal worst run off EVER into Perth’s dams. This means there has been a drop from an average of 350 billion litres to only 11 billion litres of water into our dams. If you take into account increased evaporation there is actually LESS water in the Perth system than ever before.
So the fact the the WGV development will use 70% less water than a standard residential development is timely to say the least.
For those of you that haven’t heard about this development before WGV is on the old Kim Beazley School site and is a 2 hectare 80 dwelling residential development by Landcorp. It uses a multi-typology dwelling type approach – single residential, town houses apartments, studios and maisonettes. Landcorp is also using the One Planet Living sustainability framework on this site.
As Josh Byrne was keen to make clear the water savings at WGV are not achieved by reducing greenspace. Instead the development is focused on high quality greenspaces for liveability and to protect biodiversity. This includes an urban forest strategy across the site including the full replacement of tree canopy cover (aiming for 30% tree planting coverage).
The low scheme water use has two components. One component is rainwater capture with each development having a minimum 3000l tank which is plumbed to toilets and washing machines. The second is the community bore which is one of the biggest water innovations of this sustainable development. This is for non-drinking water use for gardens and outdoor areas. Omn top of all this is converting the sump into a new park land.
Of course water also has an energy (and therefore carbon) cost. For example desalinated water, which Perth now largely relies on, uses 4kwh of electricity per kilolitre of water. So by reducing our scheme water use we also reduce our carbon footprint.
The tag line of the WGV development is “innovation through demonstration” and I think this sums up the importance of WGV as it emerge as one of the most sustainable developments in WA. It has been exciting to be part of this.