In 2006, the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy (DSE, 2006) instigated a series of plans to secure water for a designated area around Melbourne including the city of Geelong. The strategy set targets to reduce water in the region by at least 25 percent by 2015 and 30 percent by 2020 (relative to 1990’s average water use). To meet this target Barwon Water (the water authority for the Geelong region) would have to reduce every residential persons daily water use from 255 to 179 litres by 2020. The Victorian state government urged all urban water authorities to work with the residential sector to meet the target and assess opportunities to recycle water and utilise alternative water supplies. The Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy also highlighted the Victorian state governments’ financial commitment to innovative water conservation and recycling projects through Smart Water funding (DSE, 2006).
The Sharland Oasis project is one such Smart Water project aimed at researching potential water savings from an Ecologically Sustainable Designed (ESD) residential home (Sharland Oasis) compared to that of standard designed homes. Water efficiency, reuse and saving How to achieve 80 per cent water savings in mainstream homes technologies were built into the house design and their effectiveness in residential water conservation was closely monitored by the School of Engineering at Deakin University.
The aim of this project was to encourage homebuilders and renovators to take-up water efficiency measures within their own residential setting. To achieve this Deakin University was funded to study water use and conservation on an Ecologically Sustainable Designed (ESD) home in Geelong, called Sharland Oasis. This home had been built with the latest water conservation measures and design practices and could demonstrate to the building / renovating industry the benefits of implementing such measures.
Specific tasks to meet these objectives were:
- Monitoring water usage in specific areas around Sharland Oasis to enable assessment and comparison of overall water consumption and usage relating to specific areas of the home
- Monitoring rainwater, greywater and potable water usage to measure savings in potable water demand to both consumer and supplier
- Assessment of water quality when using tank water in residential homes
- Assessment of acceptance and reliability in using greywater treatment systems and their success in water conservation in residential homes.
This report presents the results and findings from the Sharland Oasis monitoring program and provides valuable new information for home builders and renovators towards greater water efficient homes.