Our water bills reflect the cost of catching, treating and delivering clean water to our taps, and managing our sewerage and waste water. More water being used and treated will increase our water bills.
Once you have gained an understanding of where you are using water in your home you can start looking closer at the behaviours and water using appliances/ fixtures to start attempting to reduce your consumption.
Doing an audit and learning to read your meter to detect leaks are great first steps. We highly recommend that you participate in the module activities so that you can have a baseline assessment to measure your reduction achievements against.
We have included a series of Waterwise factsheets and other resources below to help you on your way to being a Living Smart with water household.
- Being Waterwise in the Bathroom, Laundry and Kitchen
- Detecting Leaks and Reading your Water Meter
- Home Water Audit
- Home Waterwise Quiz
- How to fix a leaking tap – fact sheet
- How to be Waterwise
- Waterwise and Rainwater Tanks
Demand LessTaking shorter showers, using rain water to wash the car and using efficient appliances are all ways to reduce our use. To lower your water bills, you have to demand less treated water flowing into your home.
Don’t waste itReusing water from your washing machine on your garden, flushing the toilet with greywater or just turning the tap off while cleaning your teeth, are easy ways to stop wasting precious water.
Secure the sourceCosts of treating water will increase if the quality of water in our waterways and dams is reduced. Healthy waterways will naturally filter water and well-managed catchments receive less erosion and pollution. We can all protect our clean water supply by not washing chemicals down our sinks, prevent litter getting into our stormwater drains and caring for our catchments.
You will need to contact your council for approval to setup a diversion / storage system to use in your home for a more constant supply of greywater to the toilet or garden irrigation. More sophisticated systems can treat greywater to a standard that supplies your washing machine and for other uses.
Virtual / embedded waterBuy and support products that use less water in their production. Industry and agriculture are the biggest users of water. Crops such as rice, cotton and sugarcane are at the top of the list of water used per hectare. Pasture for grazing on dairy farms, beef cattle and lambs is using the largest total amount of water use agriculturally in Australia. Nearly seven times as much water is used to make bottled water than what you actually drink from the bottle!
challenges, tools and games.
Useful Tips and Facts
- A standard showerhead may use up to 25 litres of water per minute whereas water-efficient showerhead might use as little as seven litres per minute, which is less than a third.
- A water-efficient washing machine may use only one-third the water of an inefficient model.
- An old-style single-flush toilet could use up to 12 litres of water per flush, while a standard dual flush toilet uses just a quarter of this on a half-flush.
- As a guide, running your hose at maximum capacity can use up to 20 litres per minute, so a full 1000-litre tank will provide around 50 minutes of hosing.
- Ask council to provide you with a species list most suitable to your local conditions.
- Check for leaks regularly as even one dripping tap can waste up to 2,000 litres per month. To do this, turn off your water for a few hours, if your meter reading changes it will be obvious that you have a leak.
- Check your pool for leaks. A leaking pool can lose up to 500 litres a day.
- Check your toilet for leaks, a leaking toilet can use up to 15 litres every day.
- Checking your water meter regularly allows you to notice if your property has any hidden leaks.
- Many native plants conserve water with small leaves often covered in a tough or hairy surface. Internal water storage and deep roots help them survive in times of drought.
- Moreton bay residents are entitled to a free cubic metre of mulch a month from the local waste facility.
- Mulch your garden regularly. This helps maintain moisture in the soil and control weeds that compete with plants for water.
- Regularly check outdoor taps, pipes and plumbing fixtures for leaks. A single dripping tap can waste up to 2,000 litres a month.
- Take note of the rainfall your garden receives. If your area has received significant rainfall (more than 50mm) it may be weeks before you need to water again.
- To rinse your razor, run a little water into a plugged sink. Rinsing your razor under a running tap wastes a lot of water.
- Water deeply and less frequently to encourage plants and lawn to grow deeper roots and be more resilient to dry times. Twice a week should be sufficient if you have a well-mulched garden, suitable soil and established plants
- Where possible reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal unit. This will save up to 7 litres a minute.