Target 140

In 2007 South East Queensland (SEQ) was in the grip of the worst drought on record1. In the face of climate change and population growth, regional water storages were at record lows and declining rapidly, despite water restrictions operating since 2005.

Facing severe water shortages and with residents using 70% of the region’s water3, action was required to secure SEQ’s water supply until new infrastructure came online in December 2008. Outdoor water restrictions were already in place – residential indoor water use offered the most potential for additional voluntary savings.

The Queensland Water Commission (QWC) developed and launched the Target 140 campaign focusing on voluntary residential indoor water saving practices, behaviours and attitudes. The campaign asked SEQ residents to reduce average water consumption to140 litres per person per day (l/p/d). QWC overcame residents ‘restrictions fatigue’ and core belief that businesses were major water users through:
• personalising the problem (this is not someone else’s problem), and
• individualising the solution (everyone can play a part).

Target 140 achieved permanent attitudinal and behavioural change, transforming SEQ residents into world-class water savers4. Over the eight month campaign, the average daily water consumption dropped from 179 litres to 126 litres l/p/d, saving 20 680 million litres5.

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