We live in the driest continent in the world, and regardless of our reservoir levels, it is important that we use our water resources wisely and adjust our water use when conditions change.

Making smart water choices all year round will save you money and protect our water supply. Here are some tips to help you save water in the home and garden.

Saving water around the house

In the bathroom

We use more water in our bathrooms than in any other internal part of the house1. Simple changes to your bathroom fittings and in your everyday habits can result in substantial water savings.

Install a water efficient showerhead

By replacing your showerhead with a three star/AAA rated showerhead, you can save around 11 litres of water a minute.2

Take shorter showers 

By reducing your shower time by one minute a day, you can save more than 7,300 litres of water a year3.

Install tap aerators

Have a licensed plumber install flow restrictors and aerators into taps around the house. Over a year, this could save a family more than $6041.

Fix dripping taps

One slowly dripping tap can waste 9000 litres of water a year1, so make sure you fix a dripping tap as soon as you notice it.

Only fill the bath with as much water as needed

Use less water for children and pets and check the temperature as you fill. Adding extra water to get the correct temperature after the bath is at the right level is wasteful.

Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth

If you turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth, you could save more than 50,000 litres of water for a family of four over a year1

Use a dual flush toilet

Don't flush needlessly. Use the half-flush option on dual flush toilets and only ever flush the three p's - pee, poo and paper.

Check for toilet leaks

You can check for leaks in your toilet by placing a few drops of food dye into the cistern. If, after 15 minutes, the food dye has seeped into the bowl then you may have a leak. We recommend you get in contact with a licensed plumber to fix this for you.

In the kitchen

The kitchen is a major consumer of water in the home, using around 13%1 of total household water consumption.

Dishwasher tips

  • Buy a five and a half star water efficient dishwasher. Using around 10.1 litres5 of water per load, you’ll use less water than if you wash your dishes by hand. 
  • Don't waste water by rinsing the plates first.
  • Only turn on the dishwasher when it’s full.
  • Use short wash cycles when you can. 

Avoid using the garbage disposal

Garbage disposal units can use up to 6 litres of water per day and also extra rubbish into the sewerage system. Put suitable scraps into the bin, compost or a worm farm rather than in the garbage disposal.

Rinse food in a container

When rinsing fruit and vegetables, fill a container only with the water you need. The wastewater can then be used on the garden.

In the laundry

Catch running water while waiting for it to warm up. 

You can use the wastewater to water plants, rinse dishes, or wash fruit and vegetables.

Buy a water efficient front load washing machine

Choose a 4 star or higher front-load washing machine. On average, a front-loading washing machine uses up to 50% less water, 35% less detergent and 30% less energy than top loaders6.

Always wash with a full load of clothes

Try not to use your washing machine every day. Instead, sort clothes and wash bigger loads less frequently.

Pre-treat stains

Pre-treating stains before you wash will reduce the need to rewash.

Hand wash in a sink or bucket

When hand washing delicate fabrics, use only as much water as you need in the sink or bucket.

Pools and spas

Backyard swimming pools are synonymous with our South East Queensland lifestyle. However they also require large quantities of water. Here are some tips to help you reduce your water usage.

Use a pool cover

Evaporation is a major cause of water loss from pools and spas. This can be reduced by covering the pool's surface. Covering the pool lowers the pool's temperature, decreasing evaporation whilst preventing debris from falling on the pool surface. A properly fitted pool cover can stop up to 97% of evaporation.1

Chlorinate your freshwater pool

If you have a freshwater swimming pool, chlorinate your pool over winter. This will prevent it turning green and will reduce the need to refill your pool.

Refill your pool with rainwater

Rainwater tanks are easy to install in your backyard and come in a variety of sizes.  Rather than using tap water to top up your pool, why not use rainwater and save?

Garage and driveway

Washing your driveway, car, boat or other vehicle can use a lot of water, but there are ways you can reduce your water usage for these activities.  

Use a bucket

Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car rather than using the hose. 

Wash your car on the lawn

Wash your car on the grass, allowing runoff water to water your lawn.

Use grey water

Consider using treated grey water or rainwater to wash your car.

Waterless car washes

Treat your car to a waterless car wash or use a low water or recycled water car wash.

Use a broom, brush or rake

Sweep your driveways and footpaths instead of hosing them with water. If you need to wash the area, fill a bucket and only use what you need.

In the garden

Using water efficient gardening techniques can save you time and money and still achieve a flourishing garden.

Water your garden at dawn or dusk

Water your garden before 8am or after 6pm to prevent valuable water from evaporating. 

Don't overwater your plants 

Watering plants and shrubs too often will result in shallow roots causing them to be less drought resistant. Water your plants less frequently so they set down deeper roots and will eventually require less water. 

Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil  

Mulching reduces up to 70%7 of water evaporation from soil. It can also provide plants with important nutrients and control weed growth.

Install drip irrigation 

Drip irrigation is an affordable and relatively easy device to install in your garden. The drip system is placed at the base of the plant system and water slowly drips throughout the day. 

Install a rainwater tank  

Installing a rainwater tank can be an effective way to save water by developing your own personal water supply. We recommend that you check with your local council to see if there are any construction restrictions or if you need building approval before installing a tank.

Use greywater 

Depending on your council guidelines, greywater from your washing machine, laundry tub, shower, bath and bathroom sink may be used to water your lawn and plants. You should only use untreated greywater for limited uses as chemicals and other harmful substances may be present. 

Choose native plants

Native plants often have low water and maintenance requirements. Remember How to prevent blockages. Visit the Australian Institute of Horticulture's Waterwise Plant Selector for help choosing the right plants for your garden.





How and when can I use water? 

As a result of legislation introduced by the Queensland Government, the Queensland Water Commission and its Permanent Water Conservation Measures were abolished on 1 January 2013. Please refer to the permanent water use rules for how and when you can use water.

  1. www.dews.qld.gov.au
  2. Based on changing a non-efficient showerhead which uses 20L/minute to an efficient showerhead which uses 9L per minute and an average shower time of four minutes. 
  3. www.nrm.qld.gov.au/waterwise/home Based on a standard shower using 20L of water per minute.
  4. Based on the average person using 27.5L of water per day from taps.
  5. www.waterrating.gov.au
  6. www.derm.qld.org.au
  7. Abu-Awwad, A.M. (1998). Effect of mulch and irrigation water amounts on soil evaporation and transportation. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 181:55-59.1.