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Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme

A joint government and industry program


Full privacy notice


This privacy notice applies to the WELS web site only. It tells you how we collect information from you and how we use it.

The WELS web site is managed by the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

Information collected

WELS collects personal information that you choose to give us, for example your email address. We do not collect identifiable personal information about you if you only browse this web site.

If you visit the WELS web site to read or download information, we record, through our log files, the following information for statistical purposes:

  • your server address
  • your top level domain name (e.g. .gov, .com, .edu, .org, .au, .nz etc)
  • the pages you accessed and the documents you downloaded
  • the search terms you used
  • the date and time you visited the site
  • the previous site you visited
  • your operating system (e.g. Windows, Macintosh)
  • the type of browser you use (e.g. Internet Explorer)

No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the Internet Service Provider's logs.

Use of your personal information

The use of the term "personal information" in this privacy notice means any information from which your identity is apparent or can be reasonably ascertained.

We do not share information about you with other government agencies, other organisations, or other persons without your permission unless it:

  • is necessary to provide you with a service that you have requested
  • is required or authorised by law
  • will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody's health

If we ask you for personal information in order to provide you with a service that you have requested then we will tell you how we intend to use that personal information if you choose to give it to us.

Email management

We will only record your email address if you send us a message or you subscribe to a mailing list. Any personal information you provide to us, including your email address will only be used or disclosed for the purpose for which you have provided it. Your personal information will not be added to a mailing list or used or disclosed for any other purpose without your consent.


Cookies are pieces of information that a web site can transfer to an individual's computer.

Parts of the WELS web site may store cookies on your browser in order to better serve you when you next visit the site.

Access to your personal information

You may gain access to personal information about you that we hold. You can have us correct any errors or delete the information we have about you.

You may opt out of any further contact from us.

To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, we may have to gain evidence of your identity before we can give you access to information about you or change it.


WELS maintains the same level of security for personal information collected in an electronic format as it does for that collected in paper format.

However, if you are providing personal information via an email or an online form you should be aware that there are some risks to transmitting data via the Internet. WELS is not currently using encryption for secure data transfer.

The WELS web site contains links to other web sites. When a link will take a visitor to another website you will see the following icon. WELS is not responsible for the content and the privacy practices of other web sites and encourages you to examine each web site's privacy policy and make your own decisions regarding the accuracy, reliability and correctness of material and information found.

Contact us

If at any time you believe we have not adhered to the principles referred to in this privacy notice or have any other comments, please contact the Privacy Contact Officer.

Privacy Contact Officer
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
phone: +61 2 6274 1578
fax: +61 2 6274 1587

Obligations for Australian Government agencies

With respect to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, we are bound by theInformation Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988. We also follow the Guidelines for Federal and ACT Government websites issued by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has issued a number of Guidelines, including the Guidelines to the information privacy principles, which apply to all Australian Government departments and agencies.

For more information about privacy obligations for Australian Government agencies please visit:

Multi-layered privacy notices

The multi layered privacy notices format used by WELS takes up the Privacy Commissioner's recommendations 19 and 20 of Getting in on the act: the review of the private sector provisions of the Privacy Act 1988. These recommendations support the development of short form privacy notices.

Multi layered privacy notices have also been endorsed by Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners during 2003, further developed in the Berlin Memorandum, and endorsed in Opinion WP 100 by the Article 29 Committee of European Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.

Multi layered privacy notices are based on the work of the Center for Information Policy Leadership.

For more information about the multi-layered privacy notice format used in the WELS web site please visit: