Every precious drop of water counts
We can’t take our freshwater resources for granted.
There are loads of things you can do around the home to help save water this summer:
1. 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.
2. Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Upgrade to air- cooled appliances for significant water savings.
3. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 680 litres per month. 4. Bathe your young children together. 5. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
6. Wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your lawn at the same time.
7. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 4540 litre per month.
8. Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 650 litres a month.
9. Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
10. Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
11. Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
12. Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet and for energy savings.
13. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save litres every time.
14. For cold drinks keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
15. Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 1350 litres a month.
16. When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
17. If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
18. Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants.
19. When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.
20. To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.
21. Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening, when temperatures are cooler, to minimise evaporation.
22. Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
23. Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
24. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
25. If your shower fills a 20 litre bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
26. Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
27. If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
28. We’re more likely to notice leaks indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
29. If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks.
30. Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering, using a spade or trowel. If it’s still moist 50 millimetres under the soil surface, you still have enough water.
31. When buying new appliances, consider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments. They’re more water and energy efficient.
32. Use the half flush on the toilet or consider upgrading older toilets to dual flush models.
33. Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better.
34. When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants. 35. Water by hand to avoid waste. 36. Put food colouring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 4540 litres a month.
37. When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
38. Walkways and patios provide space that doesn’t ever need to be watered. These useful ‘‘rooms’’ can also add value to your property.
39. Collect water from your roof to water your garden.
40. Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
41. Rather than following a set watering schedule, check for soil moisture 50 to 75 millimetres below the surface before watering.
42. Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won’t run when it’s raining.
43. Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator.
44. Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it’s needed.
45. Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can save 500 litres a week.
46. Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
47. When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
48. Teach your children to turn off taps tightly after each use.
49. Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape.
50. Use a water-efficient showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 3500 litres a month.
51. Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
52. Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
53. Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
54. Know where your master water shutoff valve is located. This could save water and prevent damage to your home.
55. To decrease water from being wasted on sloping lawns, apply water for five minutes and then repeat two to three times.
56. Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others.
57. Use a layer of organic material on the surface of your planting beds to minimise weed growth that competes for water.
58. Use a minimum amount of organic or slow release fertilizer to promote a healthy and drought tolerant landscape.
59. Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those spraying water into the air.
60. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
61. Avoid recreational water toys require a constant flow of water.
62. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 100 litres a month.
63. Use a rain gauge, or empty can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly.
64. Encourage your school to promote water conservation among children and adults.
65. Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden to remind you when to stop. A running hose can discharge up to 50 litres a minute.
66. Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low wateruse plant for year-round colour.
67. 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.
68. Use a crayon to mark the water level of your pool at the skimmer. Check the mark 24 hours later to see if you have a leak.
69. If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
70. Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top 50 to 75 millimetres of soil are dry it’s time to water.
71. If installing a lawn, select a turf mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
72. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
73. Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
74. Consult a nursery about plant selection and placement.