National Water Week is popping up again in the third week of October. The theme for 2018 is ‘Water for me, Water for all’, and is aimed at encouraging young people and the wider community to think about how we use water on a day-to-day basis and how we can protect it so we have it in the future.
Water usage is a particularly topical conversation in Australia, and more specifically, in Queensland at the moment, where drought is plaguing our shires. Currently 58.1% of the state is a drought-declared shire. Additionally, with a drier-than-average spring approaching, it is become more and more vital that we save water in all ways that we can.
We have compiled some tips from the Queensland Government Water Initiative to help you save water in your own home…
Up to 16 per cent of household water is flushed down the toilet. The following tips can reduce the amount of water used and in turn help reduce your water bills.
Don’t flush needlessly. Use the half-flush option on dual flush systems and never flush items other than toilet paper down the toilet.
Replace your older-style toilet suite with a 4-star WELS Scheme dual-flush system. This can save up to 8 litres of water with every flush.
Use tank water to flush. Talk to your plumber about having your rainwater tank internally plumbed to your toilet.
A standard shower can use 20 litres of water per minute, and accounts for up to 24 per cent of household water use.
Install a water-efficient shower head. A WELS Scheme 3-star rated shower head will use no more than 9 litres of water per minute.
Take a shorter shower. Shorter showers not only save water but help reduce the amount of energy associated with heating the water.
Insulate your hot water pipes. This means you won’t need to wait as long for the hot water to flow through—saving you both water and energy.
Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high.
Use a bucket to catch water while the shower warms up. You can then reuse this water on your garden.
Selecting the right washing machine is the best way to save water and energy. Choose a washing machine with a 4-star WELS Scheme rating or better; you could use up to 50 per cent less water.
There are a number of other ways you can save water in the laundry.
Try not to use your washing machine every day. Instead, sort clothes and wash bigger loads less frequently.
Pre-treat stains to limit the need to rewash.
When adjusting warm water tap flow, always turn the hot water down rather than the cold water up.
Use small amounts of water if washing clothes by hand and reuse this water in your garden.
Make sure that everyone picks up and sorts the clothes they wear each day so clean clothes don’t get washed by mistake.
Divert grey water from your washing machine for immediate use on your garden (except vegetables).
Water use in the kitchen contributes up to 13 per cent of total household consumption. There are many ways to save water in the kitchen.
Use the dishwasher with a full load. Running a full load in a water-efficient dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand.
A 5-star WELS Scheme rated water efficient dishwasher uses as little as 7 litres of water.
Scrape your dishes and soak your pots and pans to remove food rather than rinsing them under running water.
If you have two sinks, half-fill the second sink with rinsing water. If you only have one sink, rinse the washed dishes in a pan of water.
Rinse vegetables in a bowl and then use the water on your garden.
Don’t use running water to defrost food. Place your frozen food in the fridge to thaw overnight.
Store drinking-water in the fridge—running the tap until it’s cool wastes up to 15 litres a minute.
Encourage children to empty water bottles onto the garden or pot plants instead of down the sink.
As pool and spa owners, you can reduce water consumption in several ways.
Use a pool cover. A properly fitted pool cover can stop up to 97 per cent of evaporation and reduce the amount of chemicals required to treat the water.
Check your pool for leaks. A tiny leak could result in a large amount of water loss.
Build your pool in an area that is shaded during the hottest parts of the day. This will reduce evaporation and help avoid the sun’s harsh rays while you swim.
Maintain the correct chemical balance in your pool and clean it regularly. Top up your pool with rainwater runoff.