Water saving tips

Water is a precious resource we should conserve and use wisely at all times.

Saving water at home

There are many ways to save water at home. You can also buy water saving devices which will save you money in the long run.

In the bathroom

  • Try to limit your shower to four minutes. Each minute you save in the shower saves between 9 and 20 litres of water, depending on your showerhead. You could save at least 15,000 litres a year.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving. Brushing your teeth twice a day with the tap running can use more than 4,000 litres per person each year.

In the toilet

  • A leaking toilet wastes up to 16,000 litres per year. To check if your toilet has a leak, put a drop of food dye in the cistern. Wait 15 minutes and check the water in the bowl. If the colour appears in the bowl, the cistern needs immediate repair.
  • Consider replacing older toilets with modern 6/3L or 4.5/3L dual flush toilets. This could save a family of four more than 35,000 litres a year. 
  • If you can’t afford a new toilet, install a cistern that lets you control how much water is being flushed.
  • Install a cistern displacement bag. This can save up to 1.8 litres of water for every full flush.

At the tap

  • A dripping tap can waste 20,000 litres a year and can often be fixed with a quick change of washer.
  • Install flow controllers and aerators in all taps and plumbing fixtures. These are an inexpensive way to save water and can be installed by any handy person or plumber.

In the kitchen

  • Use the plug when rinsing vegetables or dishes. A running tap can use between 9 and 20 litres of water every minute.
  • Rinse recyclables in your wash water. Instead of rinsing containers separately, rinse them in the sink after you’ve finished washing the dishes.
  • Only run the dishwasher with a full load. A full wash cycle can use between 10 and 30 litres of water per load, depending on the machine. Use the rinse and hold setting in between full loads.

In the laundry

  • Wait until you have a full load before washing. Depending on the model, a top loading washing machine can use more than 120 litres of water every cycle. Always adjust the water level to suit the size of the load.
  • When the time comes to replace your washing machine, choose a modern 4-star (or better) front loader to cut your water use by 50%.

In the pipes

  • Leaking pipes waste a lot of water, especially if they are underground and the leak is not noticed. Check the dials on your water meter when no water is being used. Overnight is a good time to do this test. If any of the dials have moved, you may have a leak and should contact a plumber. See also How to check for leaks(PDF, 52KB)

How to save more than 50 litres of water every day


 Activity Approx. cost  Estimated saving
Reduce shower time by two minutes $0 18 litres per day
Install a 3-star water efficient showerhead to save $100+ a year $20 - $85 Up to 45 litres per day
Use an aerator and place a bucket in the sink while waiting for hot water $6 9 litres per minute
Use a bucket in the shower while waiting for hot water $1 9 litres per minute
Fix a dripping tap in your home $1 - $5 5-50 litres per day
Use a Fix-a-Flush or Water Wizz cistern weight for manual flush time $12 10 litres per day
Fix a leaking toilet in your home $5 - $20 5-100 litres per day
Install a 4-star front loading washing machine $500 - $2000 57 litres per day
Install a 5000-litre rainwater tank connected to toilet and garden $3000 - $4000 50+ litres per day


Saving water outside


  • Use a trigger hose, bucket or watering can to water your garden or wash your car.
  • Wash your car on the lawn to give your lawn a good watering at the same time.
  • Inspect your pool or spa often. A small leak can cause a loss of 3,000 litres in one day.
  • Sweep outdoor areas using a broom instead of hosing them down.
  • Install flow-controlled aerators on outside taps.
  • Plant native trees and plants with low water requirements.
  • Collect your shower water to water plants.
  • Water your garden in the early morning or late afternoon to prevent water loss through evaporation.
  • Use good mulch. Mulching your garden beds can prevent up to 70 per cent of evaporation and discourage weed growth at the same time.

For more water-saving ideas, download our Water Saving Tips flyer(PDF, 320KB)

Saving water at school

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