We use a large amount of water inside the home every day for cooking, cleaning, flushing toilets, washing ourselves and washing our clothes. You can help save precious water in each of these areas by making some really simple behavioural changes and choosing modern water-efficient technologies.

Water use inside the home

Below are estimates of water usage in the home to help you understand how much water is being consumed for different purposes.

  • Shower 40%
  • Toilet 12%
  • Laundry 16%
  • Washing machine 17%
  • Dishwasher 1% *Averaged out over all households, so includes households with no dishwashers.
  • Taps 14%



  • shower water tipSwap your normal showerhead which uses 17 litres per minute, for a water-efficient showerhead that only uses around 9 litres per minute.
  • Use a timer to help reduce shower time, or choose a song that only runs for 4 minutes.
  • Keep a bucket in the shower to collect water and use the water in your garden.
  • Wet your body then turn the shower off to soap up. Turn the water back on to scrub down and rinse off.
  • Taking shorter showers saves water as well as energy costs! By showering for less than four minutes you can save up to 21,353 litres per year.


  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Place a glass beside the sink for rinsing teeth after brushing.
  • Fill the sink with a small amount of water when shaving to rinse your razor or to wash your face in the morning.


  • toilet water tipOnly fill the bath to the level that is required
  • Monitor the bath temperature as it is filling so additional water isn’t required to moderate the temperature


  • Update your toilet from an old-style single flush toilet that uses 12 litres of water per flush to a modern dual flush toilet that uses only 4.5 litres for a full flush or 3 litres for a half flush.
  • Only flush as much as you need to.

  • Fwashing machine water tipront loading washing machines are generally more water efficient than top loaders. When replacing your washing machine choose an efficient model (AAAA OR AAAAA rated).
  • Change the water level to an appropriate setting for each load of washing.
  • Full loads are the go when using your washing machine.
  • A front-loading washing machine only uses about 64 – 80 litres of water per wash, 50% less detergent and less energy, which means you save money.




Hand washing

  • Washing dishes by hand uses only 18 litres of water.
  • Plug the sink when washing dishes by hand, rather than washing under a running tap.
  • Soak pots and pans directly after cooking so you don’t need a running tap while you scrub them clean.


  • Cook food in as little water as possible. You’ll save water and the food will taste better too.
  • Fill a small container with water to rinse or peel your fruit/vegetables.
  • taps water tipRe-use the fruit/vegetable rinsing water for your house plants or outdoor potted plants.

Automatic dishwashers

  • Pack the dishwasher completely full before running a load.
  • Don’t rinse dishes under the tap before loading into your dishwasher.
  • Your old dishwasher uses 60 litres per cycle. Upgrade to a new dishwasher which only uses 18 litres per cycle.

Sink usage

  • Collect any water run through taps while waiting for the right temperature water and use on plants.
  • Keep water in the fridge so you have cold water when required without needing to wait for the right temperature water to come through the tap.
  • Dispose of oil or small chunks of food in the rubbish so you don’t need to run water to wash it down the drain.
  • Use one glass per family member for water per day to reduce the amount of crockery requiring washing each day.