COUNCIL wants the community all aboard when it comes to water conservation.
Tamworth Regional Council has launched a new war on water wastage, with the frontline now located in residential backyards and gardens.
The “Let’s Thrive” campaign encourages “residents to take to their backyards and make some water friendly changes”.
Council’s water sustainability officer, Ian Lobban, said the outdoor residential use was a “soft pressure point”.
“It’s probably the area we identified that we could most easily take action on,” Mr Lobban told The Leader.
“In the past, we have asked business and industry to reduce, we certainly get into the schools and educate.
“We just felt that, once we sat down and crunched the numbers and looked at that household usage and identified that 40 per cent of household consumption was being used outside, we really felt that was a soft pressure point we could hit pretty hard.”
Council’s sustainability unit will tour the region, giving locals a chance to to talk to staff about what changes they could make on their properties.
Mr Lobban said council had tried to lead by example in recent months, maintaining sporting grounds with groundwater and investigating “alternative ground covers” for some local parks.
Tamworth has come a long way since the wasteful “bad old days”, where the dog days of summer would see up 60 megalitres of water used in the council area.
“We’re lucky to crack 40 megalitres a day on the hottest days in summer,” Mr Lobban said.
“We’ve had a bit a of rainfall and it’s still quite cool, but we’re averaging about 22 or 23 megalitres a day coming through the Calala water treatment plant.”
Water restrictions for Tamworth are a long way off, with no measures set to kick in until Chaffey Dam falls to 40 per cent capacity.
“The ones that we do need to keep an eye on that are more susceptible to restrictions are the towns and villages in the region that are on the river supplies, places like Bendemeer, Manilla, Nundle,” he said.
It has been more than a year since Kootingal has become fully-reliant on town water after its bore supply was found to be contaminated with uranium.
But Mr Lobban said it “hasn’t had any real significant effect on consumption”.