MANY conservation groups have attacked Sydney Water’s funding cuts to water efficiency programs.
They include Blacktown and District Environment group, Nature Conservation Council of NSW and Save Water Alliance.
Blacktown and District Environment Group president Martin O’Reilly said Sydney Water should continue to support its water efficiency programs and promote positive water efficiency messages.
He said for many years, under the stress of very serious El Nino weather patterns, Sydneysiders have developed some excellent water saving habits.
‘‘But just because Warragamba is now full doesn’t mean that further El Nino hard times are not just around the corner,’’ he said.
‘‘Sydney Water seems to be making a purely economic argument here, but we’d prefer them to take a longer term perspective.’’
Mr O’Reilly was commenting on reports that Sydney Water had abandoned a decade-long push to cut their usage because pursuing more efficiencies would drive up bills.
It says Sydney Water spending on water efficiency programs fell from $30.5 million five years ago to $1.5 million last financial year.
Programs scrapped over the past two years include the Every Drop Counts program in schools, the rainwater tank rebate and water-saving kits.
But Sydney Water said continuing to drive down water consumption would cost it more than the value of the water saved and lead to an increase in bills.
A spokesman said there was now little scope for the broad-scale water efficiency programs to continue to produce additional water savings cost-effectively.