Council approves updated water tank rebate scheme

As part of water security initiatives for the Region, Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has approved an extension of the water tank rebate.

The updated Scheme will be open until 30 June 2021 for commercial or residential Toowoomba Region property owners on a water supply network intending to purchase a water tank. The Scheme is also available to those who have purchased a tank since 1 July 2020.

TRC Finance and Business Strategy Chair Cr Geoff McDonald said the incentive for installing water tanks would further encourage responsible use of water.

“With the current drought continuing, we need to look at every opportunity available to help relieve pressure on potable water supplies,” Cr McDonald said.

“When the Scheme was introduced in November 2019, 35 successful applicants received the $300 rebate at a cost to Council of $10,500.

“The updated Scheme will have a broader scope to allow more residents and commercial operations to meet the eligibility conditions.

Cr McDonald said the new criteria would allow water tanks of at least 5000 litres capacity, to be retrofitted to existing houses and commercial properties.

“Eligible buildings must be connected to a Council reticulated water supply network; however, it is up to the applicant as to whether the tank is plumbed into the premises.

“The Scheme has changed to allow rebates of $300 for a 5,000-litre tank and $500 for a 10,000-litre tank per eligible property, Cr McDonald said.

“There will be a maximum of one application per existing house or commercial property connected to a Council water network.

“The water tank rebate will apply retrospectively to applicants from 1 July 2020 until the Scheme’s maximum value of $20,000 is reached.

“It is proposed that the rebate will comprise of a reduction to either the water rate notice or the rate notice in the next notice cycle after approval of the application.”

TRC Water and Waste Chair Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said water tanks assist in reducing total demand on Council’s water supply network.

“A rebate scheme helps capture and use rainwater for domestic or commercial purposes and relieves pressure on supplies of potable water, particularly in regional areas,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“Water is precious and encouraging people to use tanks makes sense.”

The motion approved by Council states:

  1. That Council approve a $20,000 Water Tank Rebate Scheme that:
  • provides a rebate of $300 for a 5,000 litre tank and $500 for a 10,000 litre tank per eligible property for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 to retrofit water tanks of at least 5,000 litres capacity to existing houses and commercial properties that are connected to a Council reticulated water supply network; and
  • allows the property owner to elect whether or not the tank is plumbed into the property for household use.
  1. That Council approve a budget allocation of $20,000 to fund the Water Tank Rebate Scheme and this be reflected in 2020/21 Budget Review 1.
  2. That Council actively promote and market this initiative to maximise uptake.

The resolution was carried.

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