Understanding Household Water Use
If there is going to be enough water to sustain our growing population into the future we all need to live smarter with what is available.
Saving water in the household will save you money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to keep our waterways healthy. Simple actions make a big difference.
We all use water differently, but studies have shown that water usage in an average Australian home can equate to around:
- Garden & Outdoor 40%
- Bath & Shower 20%
- Laundry 16%
- Kitchen 11%
- Toilet 11%
- Other 2%
Before you can affect change at the household level it is important to find out where how and how much water is used in your home.
Adapted from reference : Copyright © SA Water, 2004, Save Water in your home, accessed 1/7/2011
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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.