We use a large amount of water inside the home for washing ourselves, our clothes, brushing our teeth, flushing toilets or cooking. You'd be surprised at how much water is used in some parts of the home - for example, water use in the garden is on average about 25 - 50 per cent of a house's total consumption, and the bathroom accounts for about 40 per cent!

There are plenty of ways you can be water wise around the home and save water.

In the kitchen

♦ Wait until your dishwasher is fully loaded before you turn it on, and use the eco cycle - if you're looking to buy a new one, make sure it's a water efficient model
♦ Don't pre-rinse your dishes - for most dishwashers, plates, etc only need a good scrape
♦ Wash your vegetables and rinse dishes in a plugged sink or basin – not under a running tap
♦ Catch running water while waiting for it to warm up and use it on your garden

In the bathroom

♦ Keep your showers to four minutes. Taking shorter showers is one of the best ways to help save water - use a timer or you can find four-minute song playlists online
♦ Install a WELS 4-star rated water saving showerhead and WELS 4-star rated water efficient taps to save on water and energy costs.
♦ Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave
♦ If you're using the bath, only fill it up as much as needed, and check the plug doesn't leak. 
♦ Use the half flush button on your toilet when you can - water efficient toilets only use 3 litres with the half flush button, while older toilets use about 18 litres
♦ Check there aren't any leaks in your toilet - you can find out how to do this at Smart Water Advice's website.
♦ Use a bucket to collect water to use on the garden while you're waiting for the water to heat up
♦ Shave your legs before you get in the shower

In the laundry

♦ Wait until your washing machine is fully loaded before you turn it on and use the eco setting if your machine has one
♦ If you're buying a new machine, make sure it's at least 4.5 WELS star (water efficiency rating)
♦ Check your taps and fittings for drips or leaks - a tap that drips once per minute can waste up to 12,000 litres a year

Evaporative air conditioners

Evaporative air conditioners are quite common in our region - and while they're energy efficient, they can use a lot of water.

We've put together a couple of tips to help avoid a higher water bill:

♦ Clean and maintain your system regularly - get an annual service ahead of summer, clean the filter pads, and check the bleed off rate
♦ Use the 'fan only' setting for a couple of hours - particularly at night, or during humid weather 
♦ Set the timer to turn off in the later hours of the night/early morning to avoid unneccessary use - particularly i the temperatures are set to cool overnight
♦ Leave windows and doors slightly open - this will help air to flow freely