Save Water, Save Money
It would be difficult to deny the notion that most of us take the access to clean sources of water for granted. Our time spent in education tells us that water covers more than 70% of our Planet’s surface, yet less than 1% is fit for human consumption due to the salt content found in our Oceans. Far more alarming is the fact that the people living within some parts of the world are unable to use what little water they do have access to due to the presence of contamination.
For those of us fortunate enough to be able to rely on the luxuries of a tap within our homes, providing an instantaneous water supply, there is much we can do to lessen the burden on our water sources and ecosystem.
As an added benefit, you too could see a reduction in your water consumption bills through the employment of a few diligent water conservation methods. These methods can be applied by all members of the family, and with the average household using 900 litres of water per day, your water bill could be reduced by hundreds of dollars per annum.
It Begins at Home
Water consumption in Australia is some of the highest in the world per capita. When considering the fact that Australia is also one of the driest inhabited continents on Earth, we begin to see a conflict of interest arising.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though as there are measures you can begin to take today to dramatically reduce your water consumption.
Our bathrooms are functional but are also a source of pleasure as we take the time to get ready for our day or unwind at the end of a stressful day. To this end, we sometimes leave our taps running for far longer than we know we should. Instead, consider:
- Reducing your overall shower time from 10 minutes or more to 4 minutes or less. We all love a twice daily hot shower but halving your time spent underneath your showerhead will halve your water consumption.
- Investing in a new water-saving showerhead is also a great way to reduce the water output from your shower. The better models will feature a series of switchable settings, allowing you to fine-tune the water spray patterns to your liking. We find that the rainfall setting is always a family favourite.
- Better yet, consider switching off the showerhead completely as you lather up with soap. It’s counterproductive to be rinsing and lathering at the same time, watching all that unused soap disappear down your shower grates, so save water by turning those taps off until they’re needed again.
A home renovation is the perfect time to think about upgrading your shower system entirely. If water-saving showerheads aren’t an option for you, consider a flow restrictor instead. A new shower floor is a great excuse to fit new shower drain grates – available in a multitude of styles from designer strip drains to contemporary drain grates which act as an architectural feature of their own.
It doesn’t end there though because both your sink’s taps and your toilet are another big source of water wastage. Additional tips for water conservation include:
- Switching off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth. If you’re brushing for the recommended 1 minute and 30 seconds, there is going to be a considerable amount of water being wasted down your drain. It might be therapeutic to hear that tap running but please turn it off until you’re ready to rinse.
- Reducing the amount of times you flush per day and installing a water saving toilet can make a huge reduction in your overall water consumption. Old toilets require up to 12 litres of water every single time they’re flushed. A new model you purchase today is required to be more efficient by law, offering a maximum flush of only 5.5 litres.
The kitchen is another culprit in the fight for water conservation. We cook and clean in them and even wash our clothes in them so saving water in the kitchen should be a priority just as it is in the bathroom.
- Modern dishwashers are actually now more water efficient than washing up by hand. The average water usage of 13 litres per load is less than the 20 litres that people are estimated to use washing up by hand. If you’re a tap runner, you could even be using as much as 90 litres per basin of washing up.
- Don’t fill the kettle. Especially if only making one mug of tea or coffee. You’ll likely throw the water out when you next boil or if you don’t, its wasted energy boiling water more than once.
- Just like most household appliances, the efficiency of the washing machine has also come a long way. Front loaders are far more efficient than top loaders and are now available in up to 10kg load capacities. Always use the quickest wash suitable for the load you’re washing. 1 shirt and a pair of jeans doesn’t require a 3 hour cycle.
We’re not done yet as there is still much to be implemented to reduce our water consumption outside the home too. The climate here is mostly warm and dry and rainfall is unpredictable. There is no getting away from the fact that we’re going to need to water our gardens but it can be done more efficiently.
- Allow your lawn to grow just a little longer. These longer blades of grass shelter the soil from excessive sun exposure and reduce the rate of evaporation, reducing the need for water.
- Consider planting a “waterwise” garden. Some species of plants native to Australia require far less water to survive than other, again reducing the need for excessive watering.
- You will of course be aware of the restrictions we have in place throughout the country regarding the use of water hoses during certain times. If we all adhere to them, our overall demand on our water sources will be further reduced.
These are just some of the many ways that we can all do our part to reduce the consumption of what is a precious commodity. The climate is slowly changing and all evidence points to less rainfall with less predictability. Resources become more expensive the scarcer they are so the more you can do to reduce your consumption today, the less you will be affected by future rate rises.