February 27, 2007

Water conservation partnership helps Geelong sport clubs

Alcoa, in partnership with Barwon Water, will provide $35,000 to the City of Greater Geelong to assist local sporting clubs to get the 2007 winter season underway.

Alcoa will fund the upgrade of existing irrigation infrastructure at the Lara, Hamlyn Park, Windsor Park, McDonalds, Osborne Park, Howard Glover, Western Oval, Ocean Grove, Myers, Corio and Hume reserves. The funds will also go toward the installation of a second tank at McDonalds Reserve, Windsor Park and Corio Reserves and for plumbing to divert rainwater from pavilion roofs into the new tanks. Money will also be available to assist with water carting costs.
 
The City of Greater Geelong, in conjunction with local sporting bodies, has been calling on the community to help get the winter sports season underway at a limited number of grounds in the region. Stage four water restrictions brought about by the drought has prevented watering of sporting grounds using mains water.
 
Alcoa Point Henry Acting Smelter Operations Manager Stewart Esdale said Alcoa’s commitment was part of its overall water strategy to reduce water consumption at the plant and support water conservation activities in the Barwon Water region.
 
“Alcoa’s commitment is important to get the 2007 season underway but equally important in ensuring the sustainability of local football into the future,” Mr Esdale said.
 
“Alcoa Point Henry and Alcoa Anglesea have both reduced their domestic water consumption by over 60% since 1990 and we aim to reduce both sites’ water usage by 70% by 2010 based on our year 2000 consumption rates. We will also continue our partnership with Barwon Water and continue to support water conservation initiatives in the region.”
 
City of Greater Geelong Councillor Stretch Kontelj, who instigated a fundraising group to raise money from local businesses to finance the carting of recycled water to sportsgrounds, welcomed the funding announcement.

“The ability to participate in organised local sporting activities is one of the cornerstones of our society so this is fantastic news.  It’s particularly pleasing to see local businesses and Council working together for the greater good of the community,” Cr Kontelj said.
 
Barwon Water Executive Manager Customer Services Mike Paine said it was great that Alcoa was providing funding for infrastructure to make it possible for the City of Greater Geelong and sporting clubs to access alternative water sources to maintain grounds for the upcoming sporting season.
 
“The drought is having an enormous impact on our region and this is a heartening example of how businesses, local government and communities are working together,” Mr Paine said.
 
“The tanks and other infrastructure will provide rainwater for sporting clubs, not only this year, but for many years to come.”