Water Security, Carbon Emissions and the Square Deal

Author: Centroc User
Date: March 31, 2012
Category: Community Engagement, Community Groups, Energy, Member Councils, Saving Energy, Saving Water, Water

After three years of intensive studies and community and stakeholder consultation, Centroc has launched Square Deal, an innovative and pro-active campaign designed to guide member councils and regional NSW towards a sustainable future.

“Square Deal – a fair approach to making change” is a serious communications strategy for the region’s future, aiming to make the crucial big picture issues of water security and energy efficiency do-able at a grass roots level by giving member councils a “toolkit” to help them educate and facilitate change in their own regions.

The project began back in November 2008 when Centroc embarked upon a study of the region’s water supplies in order to recommend steps to ensure water security for the next 50 years. Alarmingly, the resulting Centroc Water Security Study found that 29 towns within the region required “substantial investment” to ensure future water security. Recognising that nothing occurs in isolation and that water has a unique relationship with energy, the Centroc Carbon Plus Study was then commissioned and released in 2011. The aim of this second study was to investigate solutions to minimise the carbon emissions impact of the program of works recommended as part of the original Water Security Study.

Water security to our region = reducing our carbon emissions = change of behaviour by everyone

The recommended actions include:

Water Security Study Energy Efficiency: Implement the identified energy efficiency measures in the design and delivery of the water security infrastructure.

• Wind Farm Renewable Energy Production: Establish or partner in a regional scale wind farm to generate the electricity required for operation of the water security system. Undertake market testing to confirm wind as the optimum renewable energy production technology and to identify the preferred delivery model prior to undertaking the renewable energy tender process.

• Hydro-generation: Review the potential for hydro-generation on the water security system during detailed design to confirm costs and energy generation potential.

• Council Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: Undertake council building and street lighting efficiency programs and utilise waste water and landfill gas at specific region facilities.

Carbon Offsets: Develop partnerships with landholders to generate carbon offset projects.

The ability to implement the recommended actions requires education, consultation and communication – enter Square Deal.

Centroc’s Executive Officer, Jennifer Bennett, describes Square Deal as” a locally developed communication strategy using local people to provide advice”.

“This Square Deal brand reflects the thoughts and feelings in our communities that agriculture in this region is already doing good work in sustainability and further action needs to involve a square deal with commitment from government as well as the community,” she says.

The “deal” is that everyone must “do their bit” to ensure water security for the future – Councils, the community and farmers. The new branding uses a clever quadrant formation to visually represent the approach multi-faceted approach to change. The four coloured pieces of the quadrant represent the clean energy elements of fire, wind, earth and water, as well as the different target groups required to work together to create real change – environmentalists, farmers, communities and individuals.

“it was important that the name addressed a fair and equal approach to change management and is engaged by all and not just some, taking on an all encompassing approach for the benefit of everyone. Thus a Square Deal became the brand name by which the communications will use.” Square Deal communications Plan

One of the most significant aspects of the Square Deal communications plan is the development of the Square Deal website, to provide an up-to-date and trusted information resource for community engagement.

“The site will primarily be used by Councils as a tool kit for talking to their communities about sustainability programming particularly in water and energy,” explains Jennifer Bennett.

The Square Deal website will include a secured area for member councils only, which will provide;

– Council Fact Sheets (Print ready PDF Downloadable files) on Water and Energy Savings, Wind and Solar and a Summary of Benefits to each council flyer

– Updates on what other councils are currently doing

– Distribution and PR Strategies

– Access to the regional photo library resource

– Plans and information on funding opportunities

– Long term capability and sustainability updates

The public area will provide downloadable resource fact sheets, website cross links and references, media releases, community forums and promotions of workshops and education days.

To take a look at Centroc’s new Square Deal website, click here www.squaredeal.com.au

Leave a Reply