31 March 2011 – City businesses have saved the equivalent of 80 olympic pools of water and $600,000 in annual water bills, through a City of Sydney water efficiency program.

Hotels, restaurants and commercial offices that use more than 10,000 litres of water per day were among the 120 city businesses in the Smart Business Live Green program.

The businesses saved an average 1.8 million litres of water and reduced their annual water bills by an average $5900 over the year to February 2011.

The Macquarie Hotel, Wentworth Avenue, spent $3700 on water saving measures, including flow regulated taps and toilets. That investment generated 3.3 million litres of annual water savings and saved them $10,500.

The City’s scheme is part of a broader program funded by Sydney Water, with 16 Sydney councils auditing water use for more than 600 small to medium businesses, and giving those businesses expert water saving advice.
Businesses in the program are using about 15 per cent less water, which adds up to savings of one million litres a day in drinking water.

The water saving program has been extended another two years, and with the support of Sydney Water and the NSW Government’s Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water will be expanded to help businesses reduce their energy consumption and waste.

“These businesses have shown just how quickly we can reduce water use, and that improving water efficiency makes financial sense. I hope this inspires other Sydney businesses to get on board,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We estimate the new program, starting in July, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2000 tonnes through energy efficiency improvements, and cut energy bills by $200 000,” she said.