Using our precious water wisely

Target Your Water Use is a voluntary water efficiency program to assist and encourage regional Victorians to use their water wisely. The program applies to residential and business urban water customers in regional Victoria.

Using water responsibly is your opportunity to help secure water supplies and create greener and more liveable communities for now and into the future.

We need to use our water more efficiently

Climate change poses a serious risk to our water future. We know that, over the long-term, there will be less rainfall, less run-off into our rivers and storages and more severe and prolonged droughts.

Population growth in our regional cities and towns is placing increasing pressure on our water storages. In the year to June 2015, regional Victoria’s population grew to 1.14 million, an increase of 7,800 people (that’s the equivalent to a new town around the same size of Maryborough in central Victoria).

A diverse range of water sources and efficiency measures are needed to help ensure there will be enough water to meet all our needs now and into the future.

Target Your Water Use is about taking a longer-term view about our water usage habits by ensuring that all Victorians have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about the amount of water they use.

We all have a role in responsible water use and by using water wisely we can help secure water supplies and create a greener and more liveable communities now and into the future.

Saving Water in the home

Consider having your rain water tank plumbed to use for toilet flushing

Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving

Upgrade your toilet to a newer-style dual flush toilet

Put a bucket in the shower to catch warm-up water and use it on your plants or lawn

Have a shorter shower (and encourage others in your home to do the same). Use a timer to help you know when it’s time to turn off

When rinsing fruit and vegetables, put a small amount of water in the sink, don’t leave the tap running and don’t fill up the sink

Consider washing dishes by hand, using only the amount of water you need

Have everyone in your household use just one glass and one coffee cup each per day; refilling when necessary. This will save on washing up

Look for a water efficient dishwasher when it’s time to replace your current one

Keep the water from vegetable cooking, let it cool and then use it on plants or lawn

Checking for leaks

How to read your water meter

Saving water in the bathroom

Saving water in the kitchen and laundry

How to check if your toilet leaks

How to replace a showerhead

How to install a flow controller

How to change a tap washer

Saving water outdoors

Outdoor water use accounts for 25-50% of the average home’s water.


Gardens are an area where huge amounts of water are wasted. Examples include leaving sprinkler systems running for unnecessary amounts of time and hosing down pathways instead of sweeping them. It is worth thinking about reducing the amount of water you use on your garden, collecting rainwater for use and recycling greywater. With the use of water-saving technologies and a bit of planning you can have attractive and productive gardens whilst being wise about water.


Garden products approved to use the Smart Approved WaterMark label can help make your watering more efficient such as mulches, soil wetting agents and irrigation controllers. There are also rainwater diverters to capture water to use on the garden and greywater systems to help reuse water around the home.


Pools and washing cars also use a huge amount of water. Hover over the below tiles to learn more.

When to water

Discover when it is best to water your vegetable garden, pot plants or ornamental trees

How much to water

Discover if you’re giving the plants and lawn too much water

Watering systems

Discover which system is most appropriate for your plant and garden needs

Rainwater tanks

Discover the benefits of using rainwater, how to choose a tank suitable for you and how to install it

Understanding greywater

Discover how greywater from the bathroom, laundry and kitchen can be a fantastic garden resource

Mulch and compost

Discover how your garden can be water efficient and green all the time

Garden design

Discover how to design a beautiful and waterwise garden

Car washing

Discover water saving options for keeping your vehicle clean

Pools and spas

By using rainwater and an approved pool cover, it is possible to minimise the water wasted with your swimming pool

Helping you to target your water use

Target Your Water Use provides useful information to regional Victorians on how to be more water efficient within their homes and how to use water more wisely.

Working in collaboration, regional urban water corporations are providing a suite of products, services and solutions on how to use water more wisely.

These include:

  • Permanent Water Saving Rules – Common sense rules to assist with conserving water now and for the future (See your local water corporation website).
  • Schools education program – Across Victoria, local water corporations are engaging with primary, secondary and tertiary students to educate them on the water cycle and how to use water wisely.
  • Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP – The program enables schools to track their water usage using data loggers. By monitoring water use, schools can detect and fix leaks, saving water and money.
  • Comparative water usage – Water customers can see how much water they have used compared to previous months and years simply by looking at their bill. Armed with this information they can make more informed choices about when and how to use water more efficiently.
  • National Water Week – Each year National Water Week makes a splash across Australia, inspiring individuals, education providers, communities and organisations to work together to build community awareness and understanding of water-related issues.
  • Urban Water Strategy – All Victorian water businesses are engaging with their customers and local communities to develop their Urban Water Strategies. These strategies will outline how water businesses will manage demand for, and ensure sufficient supplies of, drinking water across their service regions.

Importantly, the Target Your Water Use program also recognises that each water business faces a unique set of circumstances and a one size fits all approach does not work in all cases. To find out about what else each of the individual water businesses is doing to encourage water efficiency measures, please visit their website or contact them directly.

Get informed. Get involved.

The Victorian Government is working with partners, industry and the community to ensure we make the best use of our precious water supplies.

We can provide you with solutions and advice to help use water more efficiently indoors and outdoors – speak to your water business for more ways to save: