Nursery leads the way in water conservation

Published: 07 May 2020

The Mackay Natural Environment Centre (MNEC) is leading the way when it comes to sustainable water use.

Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland have officially recognised the upgrades to MNEC’s sprinkler layout as being best management practice (BMP).

While the facility was designed with elements of BMP when it was first constructed in 2013, including plants being grown on benches and using recycled nursery wastewater, Development Services director Aletta Nugent said one of MNEC’s major failings was the design of the sprinkler system.

“During the development of an Irrigation Drainage and Energy Management Plan for the nursery, a recommendation was made to change the layout of the sprinklers,” she said.

“The plan proposed changes to the spacing of the sprinklers to make them uniform and to relocate them to the edges of growing areas where there were problems with inconsistent watering.

“MNEC is a small nursery, but the changes made to the irrigation system have made a significant difference to the productivity of the site, while improving water efficiency.

“Staff have been able to increase the growing area by 73 per cent, while also decreasing water use by 37 per cent per hectare annually.”

Here are some simple water saving tips residents can adopt in their own homes:

  • Keep your showers to four minutes. Taking shorter showers is one of the best ways to help save water.
  • Wait until your dishwasher or washing machine is fully loaded before you turn it on.
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave.
  • Wash your vegetables and rinse dishes in a plugged sink or basin – not under a running tap.
  • Install a WELS 4-star rated water saving showerhead and WELS 4-star rated water efficient taps to save on water and energy costs.