The Meadows Goes Eco Friendly

Popular Melbourne greyhound racing venue, The Meadows, has joined the growing race to conserve more water by unveiling a $155,000 project to save up to 12 million litres a year.

At today’s inspection of the new works, Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Jenny Mikakos MLC, praised Greyhound Racing Victoria [GRV] for embracing water-saving technology.

“Using $125,000 provided by Greyhound Racing Victoria and a further $30,000 of its own funds, The Meadows can now collect both irrigation and rainfall run-off from its track.

“This drainage water is filtered to remove excess sand and silt, before being pumped into newly installed 500,000 litres capacity tanks, ready for reuse as track irrigation water.

“The Meadows has also sunk a new 72 metre deep bore able to deliver up to an impressive 130,000 litres per day – though extraction is significantly less and automated to meet the needs of the track.

“These new works will result in projected annual water cost savings of $19,000 in 2009–10, which is expected to rise to between $25,000 and $30,000 by 2011–12.

“And apart from these cost savings, the new works will also make The Meadows less reliant on potable mains water to irrigate its track,” Ms Mikakos said.

Initial tests show the new system at The Meadows can recycle up to 60 per cent of its annual water use.

“That efficiency rises to around 75 per cent during the wetter winter months when evaporation is less of a problem,” Ms Mikakos added.

Greyhound Racing Victoria has allocated $1 million in dedicated funding towards similar drought response projects across its 13 Victorian TAB tracks.

“GRV has a strong commitment to issues that are important to the community such as animal welfare through its popular Greyhound Adoption Program, and water saving through projects such as this”, GRV’s Chairman Jan Wilson said.

“The Meadows now joins Victoria’s other metropolitan greyhound track, Sandown Park and one of its most prominent provincial tracks Geelong to have undergone significant water saving projects in recent times. There are plans in place for GRV’s remaining tracks to follow suit over the next three years”, Mrs. Wilson added.

Water Conservation Manager of Yarra Valley Water, Andrew Edney, who was also on hand at The Meadows today said… “We applaud Greyhound Racing Victoria for their initiative in upgrading facilities to adopt long term water conservation measures, keeping sport and recreation alive and well despite the enduring drought.”

“Greyhound Racing Victoria and The Meadows are also to be commended for investing their own funds into this fantastic project, which will achieve significant water savings and reduce the strain on Melbourne’s water storages”, Edney added.

Ms Mikakos concurred by saying that doing things differently and taking new approaches in water management are key strategies in the Victorian Government’s Victorian Water Plan.