We’re so used to accessing clean, fresh drinking water with the turn of a tap that we often take it for granted. However, despite being the driest inhabited continent on the planet, Australia has one of the highest water consumption levels per capita in the world.
Thanks to climate change, rainfall is now somewhat unpredictable, and often lower on average, so it is important to cut back on water usage where we can. Not to mention it will also save you money on your bills. Here are 15 ways to save water at home.
How to save water in the bathroom
- Check all of your taps for leaks, and fix them immediately if required. A slow dripping tap can waste as much as 20,000 litres of water every year. While you’re at it, check all of your other taps, toilets, and pipes for leaks as well.
- Fix aerators to your taps. Aerators are cheap and easy to install and can cut your water usage in half. Furthermore, most people don’t even notice the difference in the amount of water coming out from the tap. As you save water, you will also save on the amount of electricity required to heat the water.
- Take shorter showers. Showers can use between 6-45 litres of water per minute, so if everyone in your household cuts their shower time back to about 4 minutes you could reduce your water usage by as much as 20%.
- Install a water-saving showerhead. This is a particularly good idea if you struggle to cut back the length of your showers. An energy-efficient showerhead could cut your hot water usage by up to 40%, saving money on both water and electricity or gas bills.
- Place a cistern-displacement device in your toilet tank if your toilet doesn’t have dual flush. This cuts down the amount of water used for each flush. For a DIY alternative, you can use a brick, or containers filled with pebbles and a little water.
How to save water in the kitchen/ laundry
- Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load. If you must use your appliances with a smaller load, adjust the settings accordingly. Over time the savings will add up.
- Purchase energy-efficient appliances. Even if you cut down the number of dishwasher and washing machine loads, you can still save much more water by purchasing eco-friendly appliances.
- Don’t leave the water running when you’re washing up. Always put the plug into the sink to let the basin fill up. If you have two sinks, you can fill one with soapy water and one with rinsing water. If you have one sink, place washed dishes on a rack and rinse them with a rinsing device or a pan of hot water.
- Keep bottles of drinking water in the fridge. In a Queensland summer we can end up running the tap for a while as we wait for the water to cool down, and we can do this several times per day. Fill up water bottles in advance and keep them in the fridge instead.
How to save water in the garden
- Don’t overwater your lawn. By encouraging the roots of your grass to grow deeper, you can train your lawn to use less water.
- Those with lawns should also set mower levels higher, particularly during the summer. Keeping your grass a little longer helps to shield the soil surface from the sun, reducing water loss through evaporation. This is particularly important in the sunshine state.
- Water your garden early in the morning or late in the afternoon to reduce water loss through evaporation.
- Fill your garden with plants that have low water requirements. Many plants that are native to Australia will be used to dry conditions, and require less watering.
- Cover your pool or spa over when not in use. Since pools are so common in Queensland, we hardly give a second thought to how much water they can guzzle. However, our sunny summers can lead to evaporation if the pool isn’t covered over.
- Install a water tank to collect rainwater that you can then use in your home or garden. Large buckets provide an easy, cheap DIY alternative.