It's easy to save water around the home - you just need to pay attention to what you're doing. Simple behavioural changes are just as important in the fight against water shortages as fixing leaking taps and buying water-smart appliances. Here's a list of handy tips to help you save water around the home.
Don't leave the water running while cleaning your teeth or shaving. Use the plug to reserve a little water for rinsing instead.
Don't let cold water run down the drain while you're waiting for your shower to heat up. Instead, capture the water in a bucket and use it to water your plants.
If you have an older toilet with a large water tank, try putting a bottle filled with water or a brick in the cistern to reduce the amount of water used with each flush.
If you're installing a new toilet, buy the ones with stop button or those with just 3-6L of water with each flush.
Try to restrict your shower time - five minutes is plenty of time to get clean. Put a timer in the shower if it's hard to keep track. Save baths for special occasions and don't use more water than you need.
Using a dishwasher can be more economical than washing by hand - so long as you wait until you have a full load.
Don't rinse hand-washed dishes under a running tap. If you have a two-basin sink, fill one with soapy water and the other with rinsing water. Otherwise you can use a basin. Put in the plug as soon as you start running water to fill the sink. Keep the water pressure low while you wait for it to get hot.
Wash vegetables in a basin or a partly filled sink - not under running water.
Buy an energy-efficient washing machine.
Wait until you've got a full load before you use the washing machine. If you do a half load, adjust the water level accordingly.
If possible, buy a tank and use rainwater in your washing machine
If you have a leaky tap, replace the washer. A tap leaking at the rate of one drop per second can waste around 10,000L of water every year.
Hot water will reach taps much faster if the pipes that carry it are properly insulated. This shortens the time you have to leave the tap running before you get hot water.