How to save water: 20 tips for the home

save water

Recent changes to the way my water service-provider charges means we will now be billed for the water we use (I know, it’s revolutionary! Don’t ask…) This has given me just the push I need to think about how to save water in the home.

The first thing I did was get the leaky toilet and dripping bath tap fixed. This has been going on for… I’m embarrassed to admit this… years! From what I can work out, that bath tap has been drip, drip, dripping and keeping me awake since Alfie was a toddler. For. SHAME. A dripping tap can waste up to 200L of water a day!

Even though we’ve become quite adept at saving water thanks to years of drought and restrictions, we can all do better and it’s good to have a reminder of the water-saving benefits, so please read on and find your leaky tap, then fix it!

How to save water in the bathroom

  • Use or install the half-flush on your toilet
  • Fix leaky loos to save up to 25L/day
  • Around half of all household water is used in the bathroom, with most of that flushed down the dunny. Do you really, really need to flush after every wee? Consider this as an option: If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. Just saying.
  • Install water-efficient shower heads
  • Keep your showers to less than 4 minutes (if, like me, you lurve a hot shower, you could save up by having really short showers for three days and then one good long one. Actually, truth is, I often skip a day so I can have a long shower the next day. I am gross, I know.)
  • Don’t flush rubbish or tissues down the toilet. Duh.
  • If you brush your teeth to the sound of running water, you’re wasting up to 11500L of water a year. Turn the tap off when you brush!

How to save water in the kitchen

  • Plug up the sink or use a container to wash veggies, peel potatoes etc
  • Choose a single-lever water tap
  • Collect running water while you’re waiting for the hot to kick in, use it to drink, filter, boil veggies, for pets or to water your houseplants
  • Never defrost food with running water
  • Ditch the garbage disposal unit as it uses 6L water per day. Compost, worm farm, chickens! Repeat.
  • Wash dishes water-wisely
  • Fill your dishwasher properly and use the eco setting

How to save water in the laundry

  • Choose a front-loader over a top-loader (but wait until you actually need to replace the machine)
  • Do full loads (NOT a problem in my house)
  • Try to get more wear out of clothes if you can – doing one less wash a week can save you around 120L
  • If you use cloth nappies, having more (around 30) means more efficient washing

How to save water in the garden

  • Only water in the early morning and evening to prevent evaporation
  • Use mulch and grow ground covers to trap moisture
  • Consider less lawn and more garden beds
  • Install a rainwater tank
  • Better still, plumb it in to be used for toilets and washing
  • Install a greywater system to water your garden, remember to use garden-safe products
  • Cover pools to reduce evaporation

These are the basics when it comes to water saving. You can take it to the next level by collecting shower water, re-using bath water for the toilet and more. What are your tricks and tips?

This post was compliled using the resources of Unity Water.

photo credit: – Ariful H Bhuiyan – via photopin cc


  1. Abbie says

    A friend, when their toilet needed replacing, put in one where the cistern at the back was actually a little sink with tap – the idea being that you washed your hands afterwards, and the water went down the plug and into the cistern to collect there for the next toilet flush – so the water was used twice – once for hand washing and once for flushing. I thought that was pretty cool :)

    • (dt)em says

      I used to do that, but with the kids around I figure it’s a hazard having buckets of water around. Maybe I’m being a bit hyper, though…

  2. Bek @ Just For Daisy says

    How were you paying before? I thought they always charged a service charge and then a usage charge… this is the way our rental property works.
    We are on tank water here – no town supply… so we’ve found ourselves to be far more conservative here now. We’re in the process of diverting our bathroom water to another tank to use for the gardens/lawn.
    I love these nifty tips…thanks for sharing! Miss Daisy is GREAT at using the half flush! :)
    My other kitchen tip is to have a sink full of soapy warm water when cleaning up… saves going back and rinsing at the tap over and over again! :)
    Bek @ Just For Daisy recently posted..On my mind: Reduce your household wasteMy Profile

  3. Lynne says

    I poke the washing machine hose out of the laundry window, attach an extra length of hose and move it around the garden. You’ll soon know if the powder you are using is healthy!

    We also put the detachable shower head out the window while waiting for hot water. Luckily we have a fern garden under the window.

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