How is Yawa Aquatic Centre in Rosebud maximising its energy and water savings for the local community?

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Yawa Aquatic Centre is a community facility located in Rosebud, at 100 Besgrove Street. It's a wonderful community facility and Yawa actually means to swim in the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung language of our local traditional owners. Construction started in August 2019, so it's been two years, just under two years in the making. It's super important that we're energy and water efficient. We're leading our community in making sure that we're ahead of the game on this one and working towards carbon neutrality, and also working towards water savings across our Shire. And to do that, the council need to lead and show our community that we can all do this, and go the full journey with them.

We obviously have a mixture of electricity and gas here. We're able to source electricity from the 916 solar panels that are on the roof of this building, which supply 50% of the power on a daily basis. It's about a savings of around $100,000 a year to actually power this place. It's also 406 tons of greenhouse gas emissions that we're saving as impact on our planet.

Gas is for heating the pool, the water, and that was a really tough decision, but the technology just isn't there yet to use renewables in that area. It's interesting though, our pool doesn't have pool blankets and people have asked about that. But our pool is insulated and we have insulation lining the outside of the actual pool frame, which actually helps to keep the heat in the water. And also, this space out here is air locked, so it's kind of like a balloon. The air that escapes is very minimal and so that means that we can keep our heat in and stop losing energy, and so that creates a really efficient environment.

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The other way that we're being energy efficient is we're actually getting water from our roof and store 100,000 liters in four 25,000 liter tanks under our building. And by saving that water, we are able to use that water to top up the pools, but to also do the backwashing of the filter systems. And so that saves us drawing on water from outside. In our garden areas, all of our gardens are irrigated by a purple pipe, and that comes from just down the road at the Boneo Treatment Plant, which is a fantastic initiative.

This building is really energy dense, really at the end of the day it uses a lot of energy. So this whole project allows us in its efficiencies to reduce energy, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and to save water. As a member of Yawa, and a community member, I've loved being involved in the Yawa concept. And I've also been one of the first swimmers to take part in this facility. I've really loved how it actually connects people and brings people together. It's kind of like the heart of our community and the heart of the Mornington Peninsula. And I can't wait for everybody to come down and be a part of that. 

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