While many Australians will argue passionately that beer is the most important drink there is, nothing nourishes our body and soul like clean, fresh water. It is our no.1 irreplaceable life necessity. The human body can survive without food for weeks but barely a few days in the absence of water.
We are fortunate to have an all-day, full-week, whole-year access to clean water. Getting a drink of water has become as easy for us as turning on the nearest tap. Understandably, this ease of convenience has made us take the considerable resources required in getting fresh water to every Australian home for granted.
Did you know though that Australia is the driest populated continent on Earth yet we are among the highest consumers of water per capita in the world? With escalating climate change, our rainfall patterns are becoming increasingly less predictable. In our current environmental state, saving freshwater whenever, wherever we can has never been more important.
So here are some small ways how we can play a big part in the reduction of water use, protecting the freshwater ecosystem, while also saving money on our water bills.
- Get those leaky Taps fixed – Even a tap that drips at a snail’s pace can waste up to 20,000 litres per year. That is about two months worth of water you use on a daily basis. This is a precious resource you pay for but never use.
- Install water-efficient showerheads & aerators – An excellent way to save water and money is to get high engineered taps and equipment installed in your house. They’ll help you cut down on the water bill significantly over the long run.
Water saving shower heads, flow restrictors and aerators through out your house or business can help to save water consumption and restrict excess water flow from taps in bathrooms, kitchen and laundries being wasted.
Replacing a 15L/min Shower head in a house with 4 occupants with a 9L/min on average will save on average $210 each year on water bills. If you were to replace the shower head with a 6L/min you will save on average $315 each year on water bills. As result of this you will also save money on your energy bill due to less water being heated up.
- Limit your shower time – Showering is actually the most efficient water-saving method to bathe, but we might be spending much more than the required time in the bathroom. Limiting your shower time to four minutes, or say, the length of a song, can help reduce water consumption by the litres.
- Always keep a cold one in the fridge – Especially in summer, always keep a water-filled bottle in the fridge. That way you never need to let the tap run until it dispenses water cold enough to drink.
- Add some weight to older toilets – Older toilets are devoid of water conserving features (eg-dual flush) and end up using twice as much as the required amount. You can decrease the volume of each flush by simply adding some pebbles to take up some space in the cistern, or realistically its time to invest in new modern dual flush toilet.
- Use only when full – Dishwashers and washing machines are notorious for using copious quantities of water. You can optimise your water usage tremendously if you use these only with full loads. You can also get energy-efficient dishwashers and washing machines that have custom settings to suit the load you put in.
- Install a water tank – If you live in an area that sees plenty of rain, installing a water tank is an excellent option you should consider. Catching rain water and harnessing it to be recycled back in to your house is one way of reducing your carbon foot print and living more sustainably. A water tank is a very easy, practical, invest-once-profit-forever way of directly getting free, fresh rainwater that you can use for a variety of purposes like washing and gardening.
- Install a Heat pump or Solar hot water system – Heat pump hot water heaters can operate in any season, day or night and do not rely on the sunlight. Heat pumps rely on extracting heat from the air. There is no structural load on your roof like traditional solar heaters and cuts energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 61%
Solar hot water heaters operate on harnessing the power of the sun and on average can save up to 65% of your water heating energy consumption.
- Grey water Systems – Grey water is waste water generated from baths, showers, washbasins and laundries, which can be diverted for use on lawns and gardens. Diverted and Filtered grey water systems can also be used for laundry and toilet cistern filling but generally its much more simpler and cheaper to use captured rain water for this application.
You can also consider looking into Green Plumbing
Green plumbing is the use of water-efficient modern systems in place of outdated water-wasting ones. It uses energy-saving appliances, low flow fixtures and new age innovative tech that costs less and lasts longer. Green plumbing involves an effortlessly sustainable use of water resources that not only helps reduce your impact on the environment, but also helps you save money over time.
Just like deciding to ride a bike or choosing public transport, installing energy efficient light bulbs, or recyling on a daily basis – green plumbing is a holisticaly great option to reduce the damage we do on a daily basis to this precious earth. All these methods are simple but excellent ways of saving water and energy in your home.