Yurrawi integrated water efficiency trial

Yurrawi is an island community located 500 km east of Darwin. Until recently, a dwindling water supply threatened the community’s long-term viability.

Enter the Yurrawi Integrated Water Efficiency Trial.

The trial was based on an agreement between our department and Power and Water Corporation that established price incentives to encourage water saving and set a target of reducing water loss in department houses to 10% of total water supplied.

Innovative thinking incorporated the following strategies:

  • ‘Smart’ meters monitored water use to identify leaks and wastage in almost real time
  • The housing maintenance officer (HMO) contractor was involved to ensure identified leaks were fixed quickly
  • Locals were employed to engage with the community and tell “the water story” in local language

Already a huge success, the project has exceeded the targets set and recently received The Australian Water Association NT Branch Water Award for Program Innovation.

“Over the long term we have saved significant amounts of water, and greatly improved the long term sustainability and viability of the community”, said project leader Jason Randall (Director Arnhem Region).

To Jason, the project represents “proactive, productive, effective collaboration across agencies to achieve tangible results for remote communities”.

The award-winning project has generated interest from far and wide, with implications not only for water-stressed communities within the NT but across the country.

HMO Jeremy Dhunbarr tightens a tap to stop leaks.