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National Water Week: Practical ways to save water

National Water Week



National Water Week 2014

Sunday 19 to Saturday 25 October

As National Water Week gets going in Australia for the 21st year running, it’s time to remember how to use water wisely and conserve a precious natural resource.

Australians on average use about 200 litres of water each day. Of this, 10 per cent is used in the kitchen for cleaning, cooking, washing and drinking, between 15 and 20 per cent is used for laundry, while a whopping 40 per cent is used in the bathroom and toilet.

The waste is clear: one third of a person’s water consumption is flushed down the loo. The obvious way to save water is to install a smaller, more efficient cistern. Don’t use the toilet for flushing away paper tissues or cotton wool balls. Throw these in the bin, as flushing then not only wastes water, but it can also block up the drains and sewers.

And if you ever find a spider in the bath, don’t throw that in the toilet either. Pick it up using a glass and a piece of paper and place the creature gently outside. Spiders are valuable and are nature’s very own vacuum cleaners.

Another obvious way of saving water is to take a shower instead of a bath. One person can use up to 80 litres of water in a bath, while a shower uses less than one third of that amount. It’s also a better method of staying clean. If you really insist on taking a bath, reuse the bath water, either for washing woodwork or masonry outdoors or for watering the garden.

Washing of any kind under a running tap is a waste of water. When brushing your teeth, it’s always a good idea to turn off the tap. It is also better to wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather under a running tap.

Appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines should be full before use. A quarter-loaded washing machine uses the same amount of water as a full load.

Employers can contribute to saving water by installing water-efficient devices in rest rooms and kitchens. Water cooler dispensers are now part of most office environments, but employees also want hot drinks.

Rather than endlessly filling the kettle to boil water for tea and coffee, how about installing a hot-water dispenser that gives instant hot water for every individual without any waste?