Living Water Smart’s innovative Community Leak Program wins national award

13 June 2018

Darwin is saving more than one billion litres of water per year, thanks to Living Water Smart’s Community Leak Program.

The Community Leak Program, launched in 2017 in partnership with local plumbers and in what is a first for utilities in Australia, uses GIS mobile applications to detect leaks and manage repairs.

Jethro Laidlaw, Power and Water’s Living Water Smart Program Manager, confirmed that more than 4000 leaks have already been detected and fixed through the program.

“By using a mobile GIS app, plumbers and our leak checkers can record leaks, their volumes and the repair out in the field and upload it to the operations centre in real-time,” Mr Laidlaw said.

“We discovered that 15 per cent of Darwin’s water consumption resulted from leaks and one in eight Darwin homes were wasting an average of 500,000 litres of water.

“The combination of sending leak checkers to check the region’s water meters for signs of on-lot leaks, partnering with the local plumbing industry and using a mobile survey app, allowed vastly improved efficiency and data quality, as well as increasing awareness of the importance of leak detection in the community,” he said.

The program was recently recognised for its innovation by winning the Australian Water Association’s Program Innovation Award in Brisbane.

“We’re really excited and proud the program has been recognised and highlighted as a key innovation. It’s great for the Territory to be recognised against some tough competition. It’s a fantastic achievement,” Mr Laidlaw said.

The 2018 Australian Water Awards were held at the OzWater conference and celebrated the innovations and best practices in water from across Australia.

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