With Australia experiencing its lowest rainfall on record in November, according to the Bureau of Metrology[i], large tracts of the country are experiencing drought conditions. Subsequently, homeowners are facing up to strident water restrictions.
In Western Australian towns such as Kalbarri and Kalgoorlie, for example, property owners can only use their sprinklers two days a week either before 9 am or after 6 pm.
On the other side of the country, water restrictions in NSW mostly target the outdoor use of water. Still, there are some indoor water uses subject to restrictions, such as filling indoor swimming pools and water features, and operating car wash businesses in shopping centre car parks. The water restrictions apply to everyone in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra and include all residents and businesses.
However, if we all do our bit and save a little, together we'll make a big difference and perhaps even save a few dollars. Start by sticking to four minutes or less in the shower and install a WELS 4-star rated water-saving showerhead and WELS 4-star rated water-efficient taps to save on water and energy costs, advises Sydney Water.
Please wait until your dishwasher or washing machine is fully loaded before you turn it on and be sure to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave. Leaving the tap running when cleaning your teeth wastes up to 10 litres per minute[ii].
Also, wash your vegetables and rinse dishes in a plugged sink or basin – not under a running tap
In the garden, go old school and use a broom or rake rather than a hose to clean your driveways and hard surfaces. Please get rid of weeds as they take water away from the plants you want to grow and use mulch around plants to help save water lost through evaporation.
Depending on where you live, a rainwater tank can be a great way to save and store rainwater to use on your garden during drier weather. A small tank (up to 2,000L) can be plumbed into your toilet and washing machine, saving over 20,000L of water a year.[iii]
Check your plumbing and fix any leaks that wastewater. One leaking tap can waste up to 2,000 litres a month, according to Sydney Water. So, start by checking your water meter. If the numbers on the metre are turning while no water is flowing that you're aware of, there could be a leak somewhere on your property.
For more water savings tips, contact your local Raine & Horne agent.