Saving water at home

Tips and advice on saving water around the home.

By using water wisely, you can help secure water supplies and create greener and more liveable communities now and into the future.

We use a large amount of water inside the home – for washing, brushing our teeth, flushing toilets and cooking. You can reduce water use in your home by making some small changes in behaviour and using water-efficient technologies.


  • Shorter showers save water and energy. Time your shower using a 4-minute egg timer or an electronic timer. 10-minute showers can use up to 200 litres of water.
  • Avoid rinsing your razor under a running tap. Instead fill the basin with a little warm water.
  • Shave before taking a shower, then use the shower water to rinse off.
  • Adding cold water to cool down very hot water is a waste. Check your hot water system thermostat is set below 60°C.


  • Install a dual flush toilet with a four-star water efficiency rating. These toilets only use 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush.
  • Old toilets use around 18 litres per flush. Put a water-filled plastic bottle or a brick into your cistern to reduce the amount of water used.
  • To check if your toilet is leaking, add a couple of drops of coloured food dye in the cistern and wait 15 minutes. If you see the food colouring in the toilet bowl, then your cistern is leaking.


  • A running tap uses about 5 litres of water per minute. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, wet your brush and use a glass for rinsing.
  • A dripping tap can waste up to 12, 000 litres a year. Get dripping taps fixed by a plumber.


  • Don’t rinse dishes under a running tap. If you have 2 sinks, fill the second one with rinsing water. If you have only one sink, stack washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a pan of hot water.
  • When boiling vegetables, only use enough water to cover them and keep the lid on the saucepan. Your vegetables will boil quicker and retain more vitamins.
  • Garbage-disposal units use about 6 litres of water per day. Put suitable food scraps into a compost or worm farm, rather than down the kitchen sink.
  • The dishwasher is the highest consumer of water in the kitchen. Install a water-efficient model to save water and money.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it’s full.


  • When washing your pets, use less water than you would for yourself.
  • When cleaning your fish tank, empty the water on your plants – it’s rich in nitrogen and phosphorous.