Mackay Regional Council (QLD) has taken action to increase water and energy efficiency by adopting new technology to detect leaks, save water and reduce energy costs.

QLD Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle praised Mackay Mayor Deirdre Comerford and her council for their forward thinking with the decision to install advanced water metering systems.

The Mackay Regional Council’s automated meter reading (AMR) initiative was recently a finalist in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

It was recognised for the contribution it made towards saving 10% of peak seasonal water consumption and achieving energy savings of $80,000.

By using sensors and real-time monitoring systems, Mackay Regional Council is identifying and informing customers of potential leaks, helping them to avoid unaffordable water bills.

Mr McArdle was briefed by Mayor Comerford that customers will also soon be able to monitor their own water use on their laptops or mobile devices.

“The use of new technologies is crucial to ensuring Queensland communities have continued access to secure water supplies in the face of population and climate challenges,” he said.

The Queensland Government recently released its plan for securing the state’s water supply – WaterQ: a 30-year strategy for Queensland’s water sector.

WaterQ highlights the need to investigate and adopt new interactive technologies that will enable Queenslanders to make better decisions about how and when they use this precious resource.

Mr McArdle said there is no one-size-fits-all solution to water supply issues across Queensland and that is why an industry-led innovation panel is being set up to look at new, practical solutions to water supply issues.

“Adopting new approaches such as advanced water metering cannot only save families money on their water bills, but it can help councils and water service providers to defer major investments in new infrastructure,” he said.

The Mackay Regional Council is planning to take the project several steps further by installing other sensors to monitor sewer levels, its own electricity usage at treatment plants and pump stations, and rainfall, using the already installed communication network.

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