10 Ways to save water at home

Reader's Digest Editors

By adopting water-wise habits and making some minor adjustments to your plumbing, it’s possible to halve your water consumption.

1. Take shorter showers

take shorter showers

Every minute less spent in the shower can save up to 23 litres of water, depending on the efficiency of your showerhead.

 

2. If you have a leaking tap, fix it at once

A leaky tap could be wasting up to 2000 litres of water a month.

Don’t keep tightening the tap as this will wear the washer and make the leak worse.

 

3. Reuse wasted water

reuse wasted water

Whenever you turn a tap on and are waiting for cold water to run hot, catch the cold water in a jug or bucket and then use it—for watering indoor plants, filling the kettle, or any other purpose. You could save up to 4 litres of water each time.

 

4. Don't let the tap run

A running tap can waste 15 litres a minute—turn it off while brushing your teeth or shaving. 

 

5. Save your flushes

flush your toilet half way to save

If you have one, use the half-flush option on your toilet whenever appropriate. You can save about eight litres per flush.

 

6. Never do half-washes

Don’t run your washing machine until you have a full load.

Reducing the number of washes you do can save huge amounts of water—some top-loading washing machines can use as much as 240 litres per wash.

 

7. Be patient with dishes

dishes to be washed

Use your dishwasher only when it is full. You can save up to 50 litres for every wash you don’t do.

If you are washing dishes by hand, rinse them in a sink full of cold water rather than under a running tap – which could use 15 litres a minute.

When stacking the dishwasher, scrape off excess food rather than rinsing plates under a running tap.

 

8. Use a bowl

Wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl of water or half-filled sink rather than under a running tap.

This could cut water consumption by more than 30 litres each time.

 

9. Put the hose down

washing a car with a bucket, not the hose

When washing the car, use a bucket and sponge rather than a hose. Use just six buckets and you’ll save more than 150 litres per wash.

To clean driveways, paths and paved areas, sweep with a broom instead of hosing.

 

10. Don't overwater your garden

Gradually reduce how frequently you water the garden—this will encourage plants to put down strong, deep roots.

Don’t water the garden during the heat of the day; instead water plants in the cool of the evening or in the early morning.

 Even when water restrictions aren’t in force, use minimal water on the lawn. Increase drought-resistance of grass by not cutting it too short (about 3 cm is ideal); by aerating it occasionally with a garden fork to improve water penetration; and by not over-fertilising because the more fertiliser you use, the more water you need to keep the grass lush

 

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