Tips and Ideas
Even with Melbourne`s water levels greatly improved and the lifting of the water restrictions, it`s still everybody`s responsibility to use water wisely.
Whether it`s as simple as turning the tap off and on when cleaning your teeth or buying garden plants that are drought hardy, at least it`s something. Ideally everyone should be constantly thinking about how much water they are using and consider whether there is a more efficient way of doing the same thing without using as much water.
The following is a list of brief water savings ideas for saving water inside and outside the home. Many of these ideas could and should also be adopted by all levels and sizes of government and business enterprises where possible.
These tips are brief so we have also placed links at the bottom of this page that will take you to websites with more authority and information on these tips and the important subject of saving water.
SAVING WATER OUTSIDE THE HOME
Install an efficient irrigation system. If you are installing an irrigation system, make sure it`s as efficient as possible in its use of water and that it`s not watering areas that don`t need water nor is it applying more water than what it required. Have your plans designed by an irrigation professional or if you do them yourself, have an irrigation professional check them for you.
Check your soil before watering. Before automatically going out and water your garden dig down into the soil in different parts of your garden with a small knife or trowel to see whether it`s dry or not. If it`s not too dry then save yourself the trouble of getting up early to do the watering.
Have a rain sensor fitted. If you have an automatic watering system, have it connected to a rain sensor. Rain sensors are now mandatory for new automatic watering systems installed.
Have a moisture sensor fitted. If you have automatic watering system as well as a rain sensor then a moisture sensor which is imbedded in the soil, may not be required however they are a more accurate indicator as to whether your garden needs moisture than a rain sensor.
Plant drought resistant plant varieties. When shopping for new plants for your garden, look for the varieties that are more drought tolerant.
Install some form of water harvesting equipment on your property. If you can afford it and have the space to install a water tank, it will provide you with water to do the things you can`t do under the water restrictions. Refer to our Rainwater Harvesting section for further details.
Use Greywater to irrigate trees and shrubs. Collecting the greywater from within your home and putting in areas of the garden that can sustain greywater can save a lot of fresh water. Please refer to the “Greywater” section of this website for more information on greywater.
Use a wetting agent to keep the soil around your plants moist. Wetting agents help retain the moisture in the soil and not only help reduce water use but also help provide a better structure for the soil and keep plants healthy.
Cover your garden bed with mulch. Putting a layer of mulch over your entire garden bed will dramatically reduce the drying out of the soil by being exposed to the sun thus keeping the moisture around the plants roots for longer.
SAVING WATER INSIDE THE HOME
Eliminate dripping taps. Make sure your taps are always turned off tightly enough to stop them dripping. If you tighten them hard and they are still dripping then you need to replace the tap washer in that tap.
Buy water efficient products. Products that use water in the home such as the washing machine and dishwasher must have “Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards” (WELS) stickers on them when you buy them. This label provides information on the water efficiency and consumption of the product. Always check the label before purchasing. If it meets your needs the most water efficient product.
Install an efficient shower head in your shower. Make sure that your shower heads have a 3 Star rating. Use the links below to your local water authority regarding their shower head replacement program.
Don`t leave the tap running. When brushing your teeth, shaving or rinsing dishes at the sink, turn off the tap when not using the water or don`t turn it on as strongly.
Don`t use the washing machine as much. If your shirts, singlets or bed clothes for example are not dirty, leave them a bit longer between washes. Just because you have always washed your shirts after each use, doesn`t mean that you have to wash them after every use.
Put a timer in your bathroom. If you put a timer in your bathroom and get everyone in the household to set it for six minutes it will give users a feeling of being timed and try to get out a bit faster than they normally would. Just cutting shower times down by 1 Minute per day per person can save a two person household 6,570 litres of water a year or more.
Tip 7. Make sure your dishwasher is full. Make sure you have put as many dishes in the dishwasher as you can fit into it before turning it on. Putting it on when it`s only half full is a great waste of water.
Don`t use your washing machine until you have a full load. Like the dishwasher, using the washing machine when its not loaded to it`s fill setting wastes water as well.
BELOW ARE SOME LINKS TO WEBSITES WITH FURTHER INFORMATION ON THESE TIPS AS WELL AS DETAILS ABOUT HOW YOU CAN SAVE WATER.