Have you ever wondered exactly where and how much water is being used at home? You might be surprised that it’s not the bathroom or the kitchen.
We researched nine different studies and resources around the country to see which areas of the home Australians use the most water in and developed some easy and effective water saving tips for each one.
Water Saving Tips
How to Conserve Water Outdoors
The most amount of water in the average Australian home is used outdoors. More than a third of water is used to clean our driveways, water our lawns or fill our pools. This figure can be much higher for cities and regional towns with larger properties too.
The most simple way to reduce your water consumption outside is to install a trigger nozzle on your hose so you have more control over how much water comes out of the tap.
If you have greywater on-hand, use this to initially rinse your car down before you use the hose. Greywater can also be used to water the plants, depending on how it has been collected. Some chemicals from cleaning products may not be advisable to use on edible plants.
Before you even think about hosing down any leaf litter on the driveway, deck or patio, use a broom. Using a broom instead of a hose could save up to 13,500L annually.
Evaporation from the harsh Australian sun can also cause you to use a lot more water than is necessary. If you need to water your lawn, do this early in the morning or in the evening and if you have a pool, cover it when not in use.
Ways to Save Water in the Bathroom
The bathroom is where the second most amount of water is used - about a quarter of the total average household use.
We’ve all heard about how we should turn the tap off while we brush our teeth or shave but to put it in perspective, a running tap can use up to 25L/minute (PDF). Imagine tipping all the water you drink for two working weeks down the sink every time you use the hand basin.
Install a three-star rated showerhead. This can halve the amount of water used when compared to an older style. And while you’re at it, leave a bucket in the shower while you wash. You’ll be surprised how much you can collect for greywater.
Check for leaks in your toilet by putting food dye in the reservoir tank. You’ll know if you need to repair a leak if you see any colour in the toilet bowl. This could save you up to 60,000L of water annually.
Reducing Water Consumption in the Laundry
About 15% of the average Australian household water is used in the laundry but this is where a lot of greywater can be collected, which can account for 50-80% of household wastewater.
Link up a hose from your washing machine to lead greywater out to your yard. At the very least, leave a bucket underneath the drainage hose.
The laundry can also be the kind of place where a leaking tap may go unnoticed. Be vigilant and check while you have the washing machine on. A dripping tap can use 20,000L or more annually.