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City water savings

Commissioned by Sydney Water and the City of Sydney, we have led the water efficiency project for the City’s Sustainable Destination Partnership to find water savings and related insights in iconic accommodation and entertainment venues in the city’s central business district.

Led by the City of Sydney, the Sustainable Destination Partnership facilitates leading hotels, event centres, cultural institutions and tourism bodies working together to improve environmental performance and build Sydney’s reputation as a leading sustainable destination.

The partnership represents a collaboration between many of the most engaged and proactive site operators in the city, which already translates to a high level of achievement to date with water efficiency performance. But site operators indicated they were struggling to take things further with projects that could be justified as cost-effective and lacking insights for managing some of the ‘back of house’ areas and systems. We gathered some helpful insights to demystify some of the nuances of their water use patterns and subsequently a range of opportunities to dramatically drop water use - while also solving related water system issues and improving staff time productivity.

Adam Jones, Principal Engineer at BMT, commented:

“If we want to address water security in our cities, then we believe that one of the most important things that we can be doing is questioning our assumptions about how we use water.  Not just in our home, but also in our commercial and industrial water systems, seeing if we can do much more with much less and get a return on investment as we do it.  One of the ways we have been able to look at that this year, is to look at some of our hotels and iconic entertainment venues in the centre of Sydney, in conjunction with City of Sydney Council and Sydney Water as part of their Sustainable Destination Partnership.”

Our involvement in this project saw us undertake several detailed technical site assessments across a range of site types, along with surveys and workshops with maintenance staff and owners, which helped us better understand key drivers and constraints to implement projects that target water efficiency improvements.

Despite a high standard of existing efficiency at many sites, cost-effective savings opportunities identified were equivalent to over 20% of water use – helping to show a pathway to cost savings and best practice. The project also contributed some new knowledge and insights to the industry in kitchen cleaning and flow monitoring.

Ishita Singh, the Sustainability Engagement Coordinator for Water at the City of Sydney, commented:

“It was a pleasure to work with BMT for the SDP water efficiency study. The team carried out assessments for large and complex sites with ease and were extremely professional in their interactions with the various site managers. Their knowledge and expertise in the field of water efficiency is second to none.”

Jarrod Etherington, Environmental Consultant, BMT, commented: 

“There was a fair learning curve on this project as we had to deal with a lot of different pieces.  We dealt with complicated equipment systems and fragmented data and dealt with a lot of key stakeholders.  It was really good to find some large water savings opportunity with good return on investment.  We also got to work with some of the best people in the industry to add to our growing knowledge base of water savings opportunities.”

Sustainable development goals