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Australian households consume 1,715 gigalitres of water each year, equivalent to around four times the volume of Sydney Harbour. While it’s a lot less water than that used for agriculture, mining and manufacturing, it’s costing us collectively $4.3 billion a year. There are plenty of small changes we can make to cut water consumption around the home.

Water at home

  • Look for the Water Efficiency Label (WELS) on showers; washing machines; dishwashers; toilet equipment; urinal equipment; and kitchen, bathroom and laundry taps. It’s your guide to how water efficient different appliances and fittings can be.
  • If you haven’t done it already, replace your old toilet cistern with a dual-flush model. In 2007, more than 80% of all Australian households had at least one.
  • Join the other 55% of Australian households a fit a water-saving showerhead – from around $20, it can more than halve the hot water you use.
  • Fit water saving tap filters and put in the plug when you rinse dishes.
  • Make your garden water-wise by mulching (which reduces evaporation) and planting native plants and drought-resistant lawns.
  • Wait until your dishwasher and washing machines are full before running them.
  • Use a pool cover.
  • Water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation.
  • Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth.
  • Install a rainwater tank. By 2007, more than 20% of households had them.
  • Collect grey water from your washing machine, dishwasher, sinks, showers and bathtubs and use it on the garden. This ‘grey water’ is now the second most common source of water used in Australian homes.