Water.  Our Most Precious Resource and How to Save it

 

If you have an older home that you are planning to renovate then it was probably built at a time when there was less concern for the environment and no water restrictions to worry about. These days it is best to incorporate green ideas into your renovation and there are many good way to do this.

There are two reasons to do this. One is to help the environment and the other is to help your finances. We all need to do our part to save water, but how do we save water? What are some practical suggestions?

No need to worry, as there are many ways you can make your home much more water conscious.

Top Tips for Saving Water :

  • Rainwater tanks. Collect rainwater and save on using our precious dam water. These are great as you can use the water for your garden, filling your pool/outdoor spa or even piping it to your toilet and laundry thus saving over 30% of your water bills! These are easy enough to fit into older style homes as their big backyards have plenty of room for them. Contact your local plumber for details, and check what Govenment rebates might be available.

     

  • Grey Water. Don’t let that precious water run down the sink, if you could capture and use the water run-off from your laundry, laundry sink, washing machine and shower, you could being using this water for many uses such as filling your toilet cistern and even watering your garden. You can get a proper system installed by a licensed plumber (check out your local Yellow Pages) or even just collecting the water from your washing machine with a bucket to use on your plants.

  • Dual Flush. Dual Flush toilets are another great idea. Forget the full flush, this wastes a lot of water, where many times a half flush does the same job with much less water. And these can be retrofitted to many older systems also!

     

  • Water Saving Shower Rose. What about installing a low flow shower head? These supply much less water than the old “guzzlers” and many water authorities are actually swapping them with your standard ones for free! So you’ll be saving water without spending a cent. Contact your water authority for details.

  • Short Showers. And while we are on the topic of showers keep them down to 4 minutes. This is a really easy way to save water that all of us can do. Many water authorities are even giving away little “egg timers” that you can use in your shower to time you . When you time yourself, you’d be surprised that 4 minutes is more than enough time for a shower.

     

  • Drip Tray. Another great idea is to use an old ice cream container and place it directly under the shower head so while you are showering, you can collect the water and use it on your garden. For this extra effort, your plants will thank you!

  • Every drop counts.  And we can even use the ice cream container in the kitchen sink to collect water while we are waiting for the hot water to heat up, or collecting the run off water as we are washing fruit and vegetables.

     

  • Cover Up. If you have a swimming pool or outdoor spa, use a pool cover to trap in the water and prevent it escaping through evaporation. On a warm summer’s day, an uncovered pool can drop by 10cm!

  • Water Miser. There are many things you can do in your garden. Forget the nice, green lawn. That needs too much water, today you’ll find most landscapers opting for mulch or even pebbles where you would use grass. You’ll never need to mow again and they’ll last even though the hot summer unlike grass.

  • Drought Dodgers. Also you need to think carefully about plants. Drought tolerant plants such as yakkas or cacti are great as they require very little water and can survive the hot summer without wilting, so your garden looks good all year round. Even roses are quite drought tolerant!

     

  • Mound of Mulch. To keep water in the ground use a good quality mulch. Mulch is great for keeping the moisture in the ground rather than letting it evaporate.

There are many clever way to save water in an existing home. From reducing the water you use, to collecting rain water and grey water, anyone can save water and make their home more water efficient.