The last decade has seen a number of water reforms that recognise the importance of water as a resource for all Australians.
There are currently no specific requirements for public sector entities to meet minimum standards of water efficiency. However, all entities should be aware of, and comply with, state, territory and local water regulations which apply to their region.
The environmental performance of public sector entities-including their water consumption- should, however, be reported annually under the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). The Act is the Australian Government's core environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places-defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance .
Under section 516A of the Act, all FMA Act agencies and CAC Act entities are required to report the environmental impacts of their operations in their annual reports . The guidance material for meeting these requirements suggests the reporting of total consumption of water use, per person consumption, and the amounts of rainwater and greywater capture and use . DSEWPaC is responsible for administering the Act.
 The following Commonwealth organisations are required to produce an ecologically sustainable development and environment report as part of their Annual Report: a) Department of State and any other Agency (as defined in the Public Service Act 1999); b) Commonwealth authority (defined in the CAC Act); c) Commonwealth company; d) any other Commonwealth agency that is established by or under a law of the Commonwealth and is required by law to give an Annual Report to the responsible Minister.
 Greywater refers to wastewater generated from domestic uses, such as showers, clothes washing and bathroom sinks, which may be recycled for use as landscape irrigation. The former Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2010, Guidelines for Section 516A reporting-Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, are available from: www.environment.gov.au.
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