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Email Link   Water Saving Tips

Australia has a limited supply of fresh water and is the driest inhabited continent in the world. So water must be used wisely if we're to meet the needs of future generations. Whether at work, home or school, we can all do our bit to use water wisely.

Here are a few water-saving tips for your home which will help you save water and reduce your water bill.

General tips for around the home

House Take 15 minutes to conduct a simple water audit of your home. Download the Water Wise Fact Sheet 2 - DIY Home Water Audit (1016kB PDF) for details.

If you're thinking of buying a new dishwasher or washing machine, use the WELS rating to compare the water efficiency of different products. It's simple – the more stars on the water rating label, the less water the product uses and the more money you will save. Visit (external link) for information on WELS labelling.

Claim a rebate for purchasing and installing WELS-rated showerheads and taps in your home.

A dripping tap can waste about 20,000 litres of water a year. Simply by changing the washer, you could save 5 - 50 litres of water a day.

Leaking pipes can waste a lot of water, particularly if they are underground and go unnoticed. Check to see if you have any leaks by checking the dials on your water meter when no water is being used. If the dial is moving, you may have a leak and should call a plumber. Or check before bed and first thing in the morning before you use any water and see if the reading has changed. If it has, you could be wasting water and money and should call a plumber.

In the bathroom

Bath Each minute in the shower uses between 9 and 20 litres of water, depending on the showerhead. Reducing your shower time by two minutes will save you at least 18 litres of water. So, take shorter showers and turn off the water while lathering up.

A 3-star water efficient showerhead saves up to 45 litres a day.

Take a bucket to the shower to catch the 9 litres of water wasted every minute waiting for the hot water to come through. Use it in the garden.

If you brush your teeth twice a day with the tap running, you could be wasting more than 4000 litres of water a year. Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth or shaving and save up to five litres of water every time.

Replace single flush and old dual-flush toilets with new 4-star rated dual-flush toilets. These use 3 litres per half flush and only 4.5 litres per full flush.

A leaking toilet can waste between 5 and 100 litres of water a day. To check if your toilet is leaking, put some food dye in the cistern, wait 15 minutes (don’t flush) and check if the water in the bowl is coloured. If it is, you have a leak.

In the laundry

Laundry Depending on the model, a top-loading washing machine can use more than 120 litres of water per cycle. Use a water-efficient washing machine with at least a 4-star rating.

Run washing machines only when fully loaded.

Adjust the water level to suit the size of the load.

In the kitchen

Kitchen A full dishwasher cycle can use between 10 and 30 litres of water per load, depending on the machine. Run dishwashers only when fully loaded. When washing dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing.

Use the plug when rinsing dishes or vegetables.

Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle.

In the garden

Planting Read more about creating the ultimate Water Smart Garden.

Classroom resources

The NSW State Government and the Australian Water Association have compiled a list of water-related education resources and programs in Australia. For more information, view the WaterNSW website (external link).

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