In the Home...
- Install a dual-flush toilet. You can save up to 8 lt of water every time you flush.
- Divert grey water from your washing machine for immediate use in the garden (except on vegetables).
- Take short showers and install water saver heads - an 8 minute shower uses 120 lt of water.
- Place a few drops of food colour in the toilet cistern & wait for 15 minutes. If colour appears in the bowl you have a leak. This can waste up to 16,000 lt per year.
- Don't run a half empty dishwasher, it still takes at least 50 lt to use whether it is full or not.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving, and save between 5 - 15 lt of water each time.
- Match the load setting on the washing machine to the size of the load.
- On average, top loading washers use up to 60% more water, 50% more detergent and 40% more electricity than front loading machines.
- Choose household appliances that have a high water efficiency rating - 3 stars or better.
- Use tap aerator devices, they are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%.
In the Garden
- Improve your soil - mix in plenty of organic matter to both feed your plants and help the soil hold moisture.
- Install sub-surface irrigation if possible as it waters the roots, is low maintenance and reduces evaporation.
- Choose the correct plants (see over). Look around town to see what is suited to our local climate.
- Go mad with mulch. It should be at least 10cm thick and will decrease water loss and reduce weed growth.
- Deal with weeds. They use up precious water and steal nutrients from the soil.
- Use a timer on the tap. This will ensure taps are not left running accidentally.
- Only water when the plants need moisture and stick to watering times early in the morning or later in the evening.
- Lawns use 9 times more water than a garden so minimise lawn and mix with gardens or rocks.
- Don't over water, as waterlogged soil encourages the growth of bacteria and fungi, which cause disease in plants.
- Prune shrubs after spring, this reduces the leaf area and reduces the shrub's water loss.
- Use potting mix with high organic matter content and wetting agents in your pots. This will help retain moisture.
- Compost suitable food scraps - compost enriches the soil by helping it absorb and hold water.
For the Pool
- A properly fitted pool blanket/spa cover can stop up to 97% of evaporation. This also reduces the amount of chemicals required to treat the water, and may reduce the amount of electricity required for heating.
- Check for leaks - a tiny leak could result in a large amount of water loss. (Mark the level at the skimmer box and check 24 hrs later, water loss should be no more than 3 cm daily.)
- Provide shade over your pool. This will also reduce evaporation and protect swimmers from the sun's rays.