Now, more than ever, water has become such a precious resource, even for those of us who have the luxury of literally having it at our finger tips. We can turn on a tap whenever we want fresh, cleaning drinking water or can turn on the hose to water the garden. But we’re finding that through various contributing factors like water restrictions, the cost of water on your rates/utility bills, less rainfall and hotter conditions, water isn’t as readily available as we would like. We’ve put together the ultimate list of ways to save water around the home in an effort to help you make the most of the water you do have.
When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
Unless you have a lot of dirty dishes during the day, save it until the evening and do one lot of dishwashing for the day whether that’s by hand or by dishwasher.
Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.
If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
Designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
Same applies to everyone in the family. One glass or refillable water bottle per person per day.
Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save water every time.
Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
Don’t use running water to thaw food. For water efficiency and food safety, defrost food in the refrigerator.
Keep a larger bottle or jug of drinking water in the refrigerator or on the counter instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
Reuse leftover water from cooked or steamed foods to start a nutritious soup, it’s one more way to get eight glasses of water a day.
Cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients. Steaming food is an excellent way to cook food to maintain nutrition.
Scrape dishes rather than rinsing them before washing.
Use water-conserving icemakers.
Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.
If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.
When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
Wash all clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
When shopping for a new washing machine, compare resource savings among Energy Star models.
Have a plumber re-route your greywater to trees and plants rather than the sewer line. Check with your city and county for codes.
Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 570 litres per month.
Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 3,800 litres per month.
Toilet leaks can be silent! Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving litres of water.
When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 15 litres a minute. That’s up to 760 litres a week for a family of four.
Consider buying a dual-flush toilet. It has two flush options: a half-flush for liquid waste and a full-flush for solid waste.
Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 1,135 litres a month.
Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 570 litres a month.
When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.
Take 5-minute showers instead of baths. A full bathtub requires up to 265 litres of water.
Install water-saving aerators on all of your taps.
Drop tissues in the rubbish instead of flushing them and save water every time.
One drip every second adds nearly 20 litres per day! Check your taps and showerheads for leaks.
While you wait for hot water, collect the running water and use it to water plants.
Teach children to turn off taps tightly after each use and the importance of being water-wise.
When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it most.
Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
Reward kids for the water-saving tips they follow.
Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
Grab a wrench and fix that leaky tap. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can save 530 litres a week.
Be a leak detective! Check all hoses, connectors, and taps regularly for leaks.
We’re more likely to notice leaky taps indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor taps, pipes, and hoses.
See a leak you can’t fix? Call a plumber. Most jobs don’t take long at all so the price may not be as high as you think. It will save you more in the long term.
At home or while staying in a hotel, reuse your towels. After use, spread them out to hang dry in a warm place so they don’t become musty.
Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 3,800 litres a month.
Hire a qualified professional to install your irrigation system and keep it working properly and efficiently.
Use controllers to control when and how often you irrigate your lawn and garden.
Choose the right sprinklers for the job. There are sprinklers for different applications when it comes to irrigate your lawn and garden.
Adjust your lawn mower higher. Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass.
Leave lawn clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
If installing a lawn, select a lawn mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every 15cm will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.
If walking across the lawn leaves footprints (blades don’t spring back up), then it is time to water.
Let your lawn go dormant (brown) during the winter. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three to four weeks, less if it rains.
Avoid overseeding your lawn with winter grass.
Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light and water.
While fertilisers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertiliser needed.
Water your summer lawns once every three days and your winter lawn once every five days.
Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output.
Use a pool cover to help keep your pool clean, reduce chemical use and prevent water loss through evaporation.
Make sure your swimming pools, fountains and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
When back-washing your pool, consider using the water on salt-tolerant plants in the landscape.
Minimize or eliminate the use of waterfalls and sprays in your pool. Aeration increases evaporation.
Don’t overfill the pool. Lower water levels will reduce water loss due to splashing.
Keep water in the pool when playing, it will save water.
Instead of building a private pool, join a community pool.
Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those that spray water into the air.
For more immediate hot water and energy savings, insulate hot water pipes.
Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. Or, wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your grass at the same time.
Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You’ll save up to 455 litres every time.
Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water.
When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your non-edible plants.
When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, pathways and driveways, and save water every time.
Know where your mains shut-off valve is located. Were a pipe to burst, this could save litres of water and prevent damage.
Contact your local Council to see if rebates are available for purchasing water-efficient fixtures, equipment or for facility audits.
Consider and compare water use when purchasing washing machines, ice makers, dishwashers, reverse osmosis units, coolers and cleaning equipment.
Don’t forget hidden water use costs, like energy for pumping, heating and cooling, chemical treatment, and damage and sewer expenses.
Consider the installation of weather predicting equipment and attach them to irrigation controllers to automatically turn off sprinklers when it rains. There are different varieties of rain sensors, some of which can be controlled via your smart phone.
Avoid buying bottled water to lower your carbon footprint. Drink tap water. If you’re unsure of the clarity of the water, install a water filtration system.
Be sure your irrigation system is watering only the areas intended, with no water running onto walks, streets or down the gutter.
Inspect your landscape irrigation system regularly for leaks or broken sprinkler heads and adjust pressures to specification.
Give your landscape proper amounts of irrigation water. Determine water needs, water deeply but infrequently, and adjust to the season.
Put decorative fountains on timers and use only during work or daylight hours. Check for leaks if you have automatic refilling devices.
Consider turning your high-maintenance water feature/fountain into a low-maintenance art feature or planter.