There are lots of ways to save water around the home, as much of the water we use is wasted. By making a few small changes in your habits you can help save water, not by going short or without, but by cutting out waste and unnecessary use.
Check for leaks
Leaking taps, toilets, showerheads and other water-using devices are major wasters of water. Just one leaking tap can waste 2,000 litres per month and increase your water bill unnecessarily.
Most leaks are easy to detect and easy to repair with basic know-how and the right tools.
You can also use your water meter to check whether you have a leak. Learn how to use your meter to check for water leaks.
Tips around the home
Sing shorter songs in the shower: every minute that you don’t spend in the shower saves you seven litres of water. Reduce your shower by one minute, and you’ll save about 2,500 litres of water a year.
Turn off the tap when brushing teeth or shaving: a running tap wastes 10 litres per minute.
Washing vegetables: plug that sink when you’re preparing vegetables. It’ll save you up to 10 litres per minute.
No half measures in the kitchen or laundry: a full load of dishes or laundry uses less water and power than two half loads.
A scrape will do! Today’s modern dishwashers and detergent mean there’s no need to pre-rinse, just scrape and pop the dishes in the machine – give it a go, you might be surprised by the results.
Water saving devices
There are many water saving devices you can buy that reduce your water use. These include aerators (mix air with water), flow regulators (to reduce the flow of water), dual flush toilets and cistern displacement devices (‘gizmos’) for single flush toilets. Many devices aren’t very expensive.
Water wise appliances – shop with the stars!
You can save water and a lot of money in the long run by choosing water wise appliances.To help you choose the most water efficient appliances a water efficiency labelling scheme (WELS) has being introduced. The more stars on the label the more water efficient the appliance. So if you’re replacing an old washing machine or toilet choose models with four stars or more. For more information about water efficiency, visit www.waterefficiency.govt.nz
In the garden
Being water wise in the garden and outside means we reduce the amount of high quality drinking water used on lawns, plants and pavements. Sprinklers are the biggest cause of unnecessary water useage as they water where not needed and often over water.
Water wise tips in the garden and outside
It’s a lawn not a lake! Even at the height of summer a weekly drink is all your lawn needs. Super smart tip: If the grass springs back when you walk on it, there’s no need to water.
Install a rain barrel: a rain barrel is a great way to cheer up your plants and keep your water bill down.
Use a bucket to wash your car. This uses up to 125 litres less water than a hosepipe does.
Simple mulch for your garden reduces the water that evaporates by up to 70 per cent and means less time spent watering.
Water in the early morning or evening to reduce water lost to evaporation.
Sweep paths and drive ways instead of washing them.
Use a watering can or a hose with a hand-held trigger to minimise wastage and direct water only where needed.