Water conservation comes naturally when everyone in the family is aware of its importance, and even some of the simple water-saving methods around the home can make a big difference. Taking measures at home to conserve water not only saves you money, it also is of benefit to the greater community. If you could save only 10% of what you currently use, a typical home would save about 30,000 L each year.
Here are the top twenty ideas to help you reach your water-saving target:
- Shorten your shower by a minute and you'll save up to 300 litres per month.
- When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Use a water-efficient showerhead. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and can save your family up to 2,500 litres a month.
- When you give your pet fresh water, don't throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
- Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 4,000 litres a month.
- Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks. Examine the water meter late at night to see if it is turning.
- Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimise evaporation.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
- Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
- Put food colouring in your toilet cistern. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing a leak of only one litre per hour can save about 700 litres a month.
- Install a rainwater tank, collect water from your roof to water your garden. Install an automatic water switching device - plumb your tank to the house to wash clothes and flush toilets!
- Install a rain or soil moisture sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won't run when it's raining or the ground is still damp. Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.
- Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it's needed.
- Grab a spanner and fix that leaky tap. It's simple, inexpensive, and if the drip is only 1 drop per second, you can save 400 litres a month.
- Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
- Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
- Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don't have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs. Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the tap and for energy savings.
- To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.
- Water your gardens with your greywater and wastewater rather than letting it run into the sewer line or septics.
Finally, you should also consider installing aerators to the kitchen tap and dual (and low volume) flush toilets and other water-saving devices which are usually very simple operations easily done by the handy-person homeowner.