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Homes, communities, and businesses all around Australia are currently being impacted by one of the worst droughts in living memory. We all need to do our best to conserve water in whatever way we can, especially in the way we use water at home. Each state and territory enforce their own water-saving strategies, so have a look at this handy guide to work out the water restrictions in place near you.
Level 2 water restrictions are now in place in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and Illawarra. This recent upgrade from Level 1 to Level 2 means that residents:
Can only use a watering can/bucket to water their garden before 10am and after 4pm
Can only use drip irrigation systems for a maximum of 15 mins a day, before 10am and after 4pm
Can only top up a pool/spa for 15 mins per day
Can only wash vehicles with bucket and sponge, not a hose
Need a permit to fill new/renovated pools/spas that hold more than 500L.
These water restrictions may not apply to you and where you live, but you can still follow these guidelines to save water in your community – after all, water is a precious resource.
Many of us tend to waste water without even knowing it. The good news? It’s very simple to implement better habits to save water (and it won’t cost the earth!).
1. Shorten your showers to 5 minutes or less
We’ve all been guilty of taking long, luxurious showers from time to time. Many of us think an extra minute or two won’t make much of a difference – but did you know that if everybody in Sydney showered for one minute less, it could save 45 million litres of water per day?
Also – do you shave your legs, brush your teeth, or put on a hair mask in the shower? Make sure you turn the shower off while you do these things to save water and energy. To cut the overall time you spend in the shower, consider installing a digital shower timer or simply set an alarm on your phone.
2. Change the way you wash your clothes
We don’t always need to wash our clothes after every single use. For many of us, it’s just a habit. Try to wash your clothes less often or run one full load instead of two half-loads. If you can, consider investing in a water-efficient front loader washing machine.
3. Stop pre-rinsing your dishes!
A study from the University of Bonn found that hand-washing the equivalent items of a full dishwasher used – on average – 100 litres of water compared to 12 litres of water in a dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, utilise the double-dip method to properly wash dishes – fill your sink with hot, soapy water and another sink (or large bowl) with cool, clear water for rinsing.
4. Turn OFF your taps
A running tap can use up to 10L of water per minute! Try to limit the amount of time that you leave the tap running, especially when you’re brushing your teeth, washing your hands/face or shaving. Make sure to fix any leaky taps as well – a single leaky tap can waste up to 20,000L of precious water per year!
5. Repurpose ‘wasted’ water
Are you rinsing fruits, veggies or beans in the sink? Use a bucket or container underneath a colander to capture all the excess water. Waiting for your shower to heat up? Place a bucket underneath the showerhead to capture the cold water. This excess water can be used to water your garden or anything else you can think of!
Clean water is our most precious commodity; we need to appreciate it and understand its value. We hope that you can implement some of these simple habits at home – if you have any other water-saving tips, please let us know down in the comments below.