Future directions in community services, parks and leisure. With the Alice Springs Town Council and the Alice Water Smart project

Alice Springs Town Council, with the help of the Alice Water Smart plan, has installed new smart water irrigation technologies into 64 parks and ovals across the municipality.

Many of the original Council parks & oval irrigation systems were installed over twenty years ago and with rapid advancements in water saving technology in recent years, Council was keen to take advantage of ways to better manage their irrigation systems.

The newly installed smart irrigation system capitalises on the latest technology to make better use of the central irrigation control system.
According to Les Seddon, Alice Water Smart Project Manager, “The smart irrigation system will be linked to a weather station at the Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre to register weather elements such as temperature, humidity and rainfall.

“This then determines the irrigation schedule, water flows and run times for each park and oval. Basically this saves water by more closely linking irrigation to what is happening in the natural environment.”

Council CEO Rex Mooney said, “This system allows Council staff to better manage our water use, and this is a big win both for the community and the environment.”

In addition to controlling the amounts of water used, the system has an in–built leak detector and if a leak is found it shuts off the offending irrigation lines, saving both water and infrastructure damage.

“The installation of this new smart system means our parks and ovals are better maintained which allows for greater use by the community, whether it be for sporting clubs, people walking their dogs or major events. Plus the added benefit of using as little water as possible, which provides a dual benefit of helping the environment and the impact of water use on our budgets,” said Rex Mooney.

When it rains Council can now use its live monitoring data to determine watering requirements and has the ability to instantaneously turn off irrigation to all the parks and ovals in the municipality. This can result in huge water and associated cost savings. Being able to avoid irrigation across the municipality for an average week in summer can potentially save up to 21,000,000 litres, or 8.4 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

These savings wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the Alice Water Smart plan, which is helping to drive smarter and more efficient use of water in homes, businesses, parks and ovals, and in a range of large-scale infrastructure projects. The plan will help Alice Springs reduce its water use by 1600 million litres per year, equivalent to two months average water supply.

Alice Water Smart is a $15 million plan supported by the Australian Government through the Water for the Future initiative. It is led by a local consortium that includes the Power & Water Corporation, the Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Alice Springs Town Council, the Arid Lands Environment Centre and Tourism NT.

The Alice Water Smart Consortium’s Parks and Ovals Project was funded by the Federal Government, Power & Water, and Alice Springs Town Council.