Frequently Asked Questions - Homes
1. At home, where should I start when trying to reduce our water consumption ?
In the typical home about 40% of water is used on gardens and alike, 20% in the bathroom, a bit less in the toilet, around 15% in the laundry depending on your family size and the kitchen is usually close to 5%. Of course this depends a lot on things like how long you shower, or water the lawns etc, but this should help you to think about where to focus first. Try our RiverSmart homes do-it-yourself audits to help identify things you can do.
2. How much water will I save if I
cut my showering time
Of course this depends on the type of showerhead you have. If it's not a water saving head, each minute of your shower might be using up to 20 litres (about 1.5 standard buckets). By using a water saving head you can reduce this to less than 9 litres per minute. So, you can work out how much you can save by cutting your shower back to 3 or 4 minutes. If you have a 3 star rated water saving head, and cut your showers down from 5 to 3 minutes per day, you'll save about 6,500 litres per year. If there are four of you in the house and each do this, you'll be saving about 26,000 litres per year !
3. Does turning tap off when cleaning my teeth really make a difference ?
Depending on the rate of flow and how long you brush, by leaving the tap running you might be using about bucket of water each time. Add that up over the year and it would about fill a 5,000 litre tank. Now multiply that by your whole family, wow, that's a lot of water.
Lots of resources out there in hyperspace !
There are lots of great web sites that can provide information about water conservation and water quality issues. Here are a few you may wish to visit that we recommend:
Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative
The ACT Government's Think Water Act Water site
Melbourne Water's Conserve Water
Watercare (Water - Learning and Living)
4. Does a leaking toilet waste much water ?
Again, this depends on the rate of leaking. We tend to ignore those slow trickling leaks at the back of the cistern but even these might be losing up to a bucket a day, which over a year is nearly enough to fill a 5,000 litre tank. If your leaking toilet is faster than this, then you'd be wise to fix it quickly.
5. Is it really important to use my pool cover ?
In the heat of summer it's estimated that a typical back-yard pool might lose up to 200 litres per day in evaporation. By having your pool cover in place during the heat of the day you can save about three-quarters of this water and avoid having to top it up as often. Avoiding 'bombing' is another way to cut down pool losses !
Pool covers can save you (and our rivers) up to 200 litres of water per day
Barmah (Red gum) Forest on the Murray River
Dawn mist on the Murray
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