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Attendances rise and water consumption falls at Western Australian aquatic centres

Attendances rise and water consumption falls at Western Australian aquatic centres
August 5, 2019

Aquatic centres in Western Australia reported a record-breaking year in 2017/18 with 11.4 million visits while, operationally, water usage at facilities fell.

The Bigger, Better, Safer: Western Australian Aquatics Industry Report 2017/18, compiled by the Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia for the Leisure Institute of Western Australia (LIWA) Aquatics, shows a reversal of a series of performance challenges experienced in prior years, with visits to public swimming pools in the state increasing by 10.7% in 2017/18.

Overall, there were 11.4 million visits recorded in 2017-18, which equals 4.3 visits per head of population.

The report advises "the proportion of patronage across regional and metropolitan areas for 2017/18 were comparable to the 2016/17 results (while) regional areas had a higher rate of patronage per head of population than the Perth metropolitan region (4.8 visits versus 4.1 visits, respectively).

"The highest (visitation) rate was recorded in Pilbara region with 5.5 visits per patron and lowest in the Kimberley region with 3.7 visits per patron.

"The overall rates of patronage and patronage recorded at pools located in the Perth metropolitan area were higher than the five-year average."

However, the report shows that expenditure per patron decreased by 7.4% in 2017/18 from the previous year ($7.13 compared to $7.70 per patron respectively) although the long-term trend indicates that there has been a gradual increase in overall expenditure and expenditure per patron since 2009/10.

The report also advised that “annual expenditure relating to the operation and maintenance of public swimming pools in 2017/18 was $81,039,700 which was 1.7% higher than 2016/17 (but) consistent with annual inflation figures.”

Water Consumption
Water consumption data in the report, provided by the Water Corporation provided data for over 100 public swimming pools across the state.

While advising that "it is important to consider that it is not possible to separate the water consumption for aquatic use only and therefore data may include groundwater (bore) usage and other centres on the same site" the total water consumption for all pools across Western Australia in 2017/18 decreased by 1.8% from 2016/17 with a total of 1.17 billion litres of water consumed. 

Overall, water consumption continued to trend downwards with an overall estimated decrease of 99 megalitres since 2007/08.

Water use per patron was calculated by the number of litres used per patron visits and varied greatly by region.

The Great Southern and Perth metropolitan area were the only regions to have water consumption under the state average of 110 litres per patron visit while the Wheatbelt, Pilbara and Kimberley regions recorded the highest water usage per patron, which was three to four times the Western Australian average.

The report also identified a shortage of pool lifeguards and swim instructors across the state.

The 2019 LIWA Aquatics Annual State Conference and Trade Display is being held on 12th and 13th August in Fremantle.

Click here to view the Bigger, Better, Safer: Western Australian Aquatics Industry Report 2017/18.

Click here for more information on the LIWA Conference in the Australasian Leisure Management Industry Calendar. 

Main image: Patrons enjoying the newly opened Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre.

Related Articles

11th July 2019 - Cockburn ARC named Western Australia’s 40th Waterwise aquatic centre

29th March 2019 - LIWA Aquatics to mark 50th anniversary

23rd March 2019 - Thousands put new Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre to the test

3rd January 2019 - Bayswater Waves welcomes Waterwise status

9th December 2018 - Three WA facilities recognised as Waterwise Aquatic Centres

29th October 2018 - Riverton Leisureplex to be transformed into ‘community hub’

17th September 2018 - City of Canning sues firms over green claims for Cannington Leisureplex

13th August 2018 - Pilbara’s first Changing Places Facility opens at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre

18th July 2018 - Continuing performance challenges at aquatic facilities in Western Australia

21st June 2018 - Smart solar installation to power Halls Creek Aquatic and Recreation Centre

11th October 2017 - Western Australian aquatic centres attract more than 11 million visits in a year

4th August 2017 - Karratha Leisureplex recognised for WaterWise initiatives

18th January 2017 - LIWA Aquatics to benefit from extra funding for pool safety and training

16th November 2016 - LIWA Aquatics wins Water Corporation Award for Water Efficiency Leadership

31st July 2012 - Training to address pool manager shortage in the Pilbara and Kimberley

6th January 2012 - Minister praises WA aquatic centres for reduced water use

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