Councils are currently considering a number of pilot programs to reduce a phenomenon known as ‘urban heat island effect’ caused by a high concentration of concrete, bitumen and buildings.
These innovations include painted roads and playground equipment that reduce the spread of ultraviolet light.
Terry Leckie, CEO of Flow Systems, says water should be captured at a local community level and kept within the community to be used over and over again.
“Managing all water within an integrated system in each community ensures efficiency and balance,” says Leckie.
“This local approach gives communities control over water use and assists their ability to counter urban heat island effects.”
In Sydney’s west, community-based systems can complement regional recycled water schemes servicing facilities and businesses such as sporting stadiums and agribusiness.
In the past decade Flow Systems has progressed nine local community schemes that will ultimately supply over 60,000 water services to customers.
“Councils are trying to plan to combat the urban heat island effect with a number of tactics, but what is really needed is a change in the development process which puts the environment first with shade and water usage at its heart,” says Leckie.
“We have already seen the benefits locally sourced water systems can have in creating a greener and more shaded community. At Sydney’s Central Park residents live in buildings surrounded by green walls and within walking distance of local parks maintained by reusing locally captured water,” he says.
A report by Sydney Water reveals temperatures in outer Western Sydney could be reduced by as much as 4.6 degrees by ‘innovative streetscape design and stormwater capture’.
NSW Western Sydney minister Stuart Ayres is also calling for investment in such cutting-edge water technology, particularly in new growth areas around the Badgerys Creek airport.
Flow System’s local community water schemes capture water and return it for use in homes, offices and shops for non-drinking purposes such as use on gardens and lawns, for washing down outdoors, flushing toilets, clothes washing and air conditioning systems.
These systems have been proven to improve water usage efficiency by between 40 and 70 percent.
Leckie says that, “They enable resilience, efficiency and return control to the community. They enable the implementation of smaller scale local technologies as they arise and encourage initiatives that support the local economy.”
“We know that capturing essential resources such as water and energy locally and making these available for people to use locally is the most efficient way to ensure communities thrive.”
Image: Flow Systems has revolutionised recycled water systems in masterplanned communities such as The Gables at Box Hill and Huntlee in the Hunter Valley. / Supplied.