How we oughta save water

With 20 million people saving 6L for one minute a day every day of the year, that's 44GL a year

To round off this year's National Water Week (20-26 October) here are some good practical tips regarding sensible use and conservation of what is one of the most precious natural resources on our planet. There are many great water saving tips on the web. Your local water utility is a great place to start. The links here are from our friends over at Sydney Water.

Outside the house

  • Plant flora that's native to your area and plant appropriately.
  • Consider installing rain water tanks.
  • Water the garden outside of the day's hot periods (best times are early in the morning and late in the evening) and water for long enough to encourage deep root growth.
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch.
  • Look at grey water reuse – diverting shower and laundry water to lawns and gardens. Monitor your plants to be sure they're okay with the types of soaps and laundry products you use.
  • Buy a hose that has a trigger nozzle.
  • Prep the soils - a good 180cm of loamy soils will hold water much better than 50cm of sandy soil.
  • Wash the car on the lawn.
  • Inside the house

  • Check for water leaks, especially dripping taps. Best way to do this is to read your water meter late at night and again first thing in the morning.
  • Only do full loads for dishwashing. Using 80L of water to wash a brekky bowl and a spoon is costly and wasteful, so maybe use the old fashioned sink for small loads.
  • Turn taps off when brushing teeth. It might not sound like much, but it's the small things that add up. With 20 million people saving 6L for one minute a day every day of the year, that's 44GL a year.
  • Lots of water utilities provide an efficiency target for households based on number of residents and time of the year. This table is from Sydney Water for the period August - October. I think these targets are still pretty high. I use 150L/day.
  • As a business

  • Make sure staff and clients know how to report leaks.
  • Track your water use in KL as well as in $$$.
  • Is there a key performance indicator you can use for your business to see where you fit on the efficiency scale?