Water Saving Tips Around the Home


About 20 per cent of household water is used in the bathroom, and another 18 per cent in the toilet.

  • Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, and leave the tap running, you could be wasting around 12 litres/13 gallons (or just over a bucket) of water a day. That’s over 4,300 litres/1135 gallons per person, per year.
  • Use a plug in the basin when shaving rather than letting the tap run.
  • Install a water efficient showerhead. Not only will you save on your water bills, but using less hot water means you’ll also save on your energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You’ll also save lots of water.
  • Reduce your showering time. Every minute you cut from your shower time could save up to nine litres of water if you have a ‘3 star’ rated water-efficient showerhead, and up to 20 litres/5 gallons if you have an older style, conventional showerhead.
  • Use the half flush option when possible on dual flush toilets.
  • Install a displacement device in the cistern (tank) of single flush toilets, as it can save you a litre of water every flush. You can do this by removing the lid of your cistern and carefully placing a one litre sealed plastic bottle filled with pebbles and water inside in a way that won’t interfere with the flushing mechanism.
  • Check for toilet leaks by placing a few drops of biodegradable food colouring into the cistern, and wait for 30 minutes. If you have a leaking toilet, you will see coloured water in the toilet bowl and need to contact a plumber. A slow, barely visible leak into your toilet bowl can waste more than 4,000 litres/1056 gallons of water a year. Visible, constant leaks (with a hissing sound) can waste 95,000 litres/25,096 gallons a year.


About six per cent of household water is used in the kitchen. A running kitchen tap can use around nine litres of water a minute.

  • Instead of running water to wash vegetables or rinse dishes, put a plug in the sink or use a bowl.
  • Use your dishwasher only when you have a full load and use the economy cycle. Each time you use the dishwasher, you could be using between 18 and 40 litres (5-10 gallons) of water—depending on the age of your dishwasher.
  • Use the ‘rinse and hold’ setting, if your dishwasher has one, instead of rinsing dishes under the tap before placing them in the dishwasher.


About 13 per cent of household water is used in the laundry. Conventional top loading washing machines use an average of 120 to 150 litres (30-40 gallons) of water each load.

  • Reduce the number of washing loads in a week and save water by combining smaller loads and only washing when you have a full load.
  • Adjust the water level to suit the size of your load and use the economy cycle, if your machine has one.
  • If you are buying a new washing machine, choose a water-efficient model with a water efficiency rating of ‘4 stars’ * (or greater). A water-efficient washing machine can use up to 2/3 less water than an inefficient model.