In the home
Households use over 50% of their water inside the home. Making simple changes to your water use behaviour can save lots of water. If we all reduced the amount of water we use by even a small amount, we could make a huge difference to our total consumption.
Showers and baths account for 25% of all water used in an average home.
- Limit your showers to 4 minutes or less, this is plenty of time to get clean. Reducing your shower by 2 minutes or less will save around 24 litres of water each day.
- Install a low flow, water efficient showerhead (WELS rated 3 star or above) and save up to 3 litres of water a minute.
- Don’t waste water while you wait for the hot tap to warm up. Keep a bucket handy to catch the water and use it on indoor plants or in the garden.
Brushing your teeth
Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth. Simply wet your toothbrush before you begin and use a glass of water to rinse your mouth. A running tap can use about 8 litres of water per minute. If you regularly keep the tap running while cleaning your teeth you could use up to 11,500 litres per year.
The toilet uses 9% of all water used in an average home.
- Replacing a standard single flush toilet with a dual flush system could save 90 litres a day. If you're replacing the toilet replace the whole suite (the pan and cistern) and choose a WELS rated 4 star model, which uses 3 litres for a half flush and 4.5 litres for a full flush.
- Avoid flushing household rubbish down the toilet and put it in the bin instead. This will help save water as well as reducing problems with the wastewater system.
- A leaking toilet is the most common leak and can waste up to 25 litres a day. To check your cistern, place a few drops of food colour in the tank. Without flushing it, look for colour in the toilet bowl. If it is getting through, you have a leak and it is time to call a Licensed Waterwise Plumber.
Washing machines account for 7% of all water used in an average home.
- Only put on your washing machine when you have a full load. Reducing your washing by just one load a week can save up to 120 litres.
- When buying a new washing machine choose the highest WELS rating possible. A WELS rated 4 start model uses up to 41% less water than a conventional washing machine.
- Generally front loaders are more water efficient than top loaders. Over one year, front loaders use around 3,000 litres less than top loaders.
- Only use your dishwasher when it’s full.
- When buying a new dishwasher, choose at least a WELS rated 4.5 star model, which uses as little as 15 litres per wash, compared to older models which use around 20 litres per wash.
Evaporative air conditioners
Evaporative air conditioners work by using cooling pads saturated with water to lower air temperature, but there are some simple ways to reduce the amount of water used to cool your home.
- Turn to ‘fan only’ at night or during high humidity periods.
- Familiarise yourself with your air conditioner’s optimal tap settings. You can find this by asking your air conditioner manufacturer.
- Install flow controllers to reduce water wastage in systems.
- Regularly check for leaks, maintain flow control and clean the filter pads.
Use flow regulators and single lever mixer taps
Save water with single lever mixer taps. The lever action mixes hot and cold water and allows you to find the right water temperature quickly, so you won’t waste water. For a bathroom tap look for a minimum WELS star rating of 6. When looking for a kitchen or laundry tap, a minimum WELS star rating of 4 is considered water efficient.
A flow regulator can also help reduce water use by up to 50% by allowing water to flow at set rates, while also providing softer water with less splashing.
High water pressure increases flow rates from showers and taps. To help you save water a Licensed Waterwise Plumber can fit a pressure reduction valve at your property boundary.
For cold water keep a jug of water in the fridge. You will always have cold water on hand and will not waste water while waiting for cold water out of the tap.
Insulate hot water pipes
Insulating hot water pipes can save water and power by retaining water heat and reducing the need to flush out cold water from hot water taps.
Water saving choices for new homes
When planning a house, locate the hot water system and bathrooms, ensuites, laundry and kitchen as close to each other as possible. This reduces initial plumbing costs and saves water and energy by reducing the flushing of cold water from hot water taps.
Download our water efficient household assessment sheet
View our guidelines for waterwise criteria