Make every drop count!Guide to saving water at home and in the garden
Working together to make every drop countWater is the life blood of the Namoi Catchment.Every person who lives in the area has the power to save water and to help ensure asustainable and affordable future water supply.If we all make sure that every drop counts we can save millions of liters of water every year. Ifeveryone in the catchment cut their daily showers by one minute, over a year we would save470 million liters!This book is a joint initiative of the Namoi Catchment Management Authority and the NaomiLocal Government Group which represents the shires of Gunedah, Liverpool Plains, Narrabri,Walcha, Walgett, Warrumbungles and the Tamworth Regional Council.For more information visitwww.makingeverydropcount.com.auMaking every drop count - In the kitchenWaterWise TipsFill it- Fill the dishwasher up before you use it.Plug it- Put a plug in the sink when you rinse your vegetables or dishes.Scrape it- Scraping dishes instead of rinsing saves even more water!Chill it- Keep a container of drinking water in the fridge. Running the tap until the water coolswastes waste’s water.Microwave it- Use the microwave instead of running water to defrost foods.
WaterWise ProductsSlow the flow- Install flow control devices or aerators in non-water efficient taps and slowthe flow to what is required. Required Flows L/min Kitchen Sink 12 Shower 9 Hand Basin 6 Laundry Tubs 12Swish it- A sink swish lets you reduce water flow by creating a cleansing spray.Double it- A double sink lets you wash dishes in the smaller deeper sink using less water toconvert them.Making every drop count - In the bathroomWaterWise TipsShorten it- Take shorter showers! Shaving your legs before you get under the shower willsave hundreds of liters of water each time.Plug it- Put the plug in when shaving.Halve it- use the half-flush button on the toilet if you have one.Lower it- Try using less water in the bath.
WaterWise ProductsSlow the flow- Flow control devices can reduce water flow.Halve it- A dual flush toilet could save about 50 liters per person per day.Weight it- A cistern weight converts an old single flush toilet to a manual dual flush.Replace it- Water efficient shower roses can use 50-70% less water!Investigate it- Call the water efficiency hotline 1800 803 772 or visitwww.waterrating.gov.au. Making every drop count - In the laundryWaterWise TipsLoad it- Only turn on the washing machine when it has a full load or adjust the water levels tomatch the load size.Check it- Regularly check the hoses and fittings for leaks.Save it- Save the rinse water and use it for the next wash. Make sure you use the old rinsewater the same day.WaterWise ProductsReplace it- Washing machines with 4 blue stars use less than half the water thatconventional top loading washing machines use.Stop it- A flood safety valve should protect your house from flooding if a house breaks or slipsoff.Plumb it- Look at having a plumber install a rainwater tank as an alternative water supply.NOTE: The NSW Department of Health doesn’t advise rainwater for drinking when there’s analternative mains water supply available.
Making every drop count - In the GardenWaterWise TipsPlan it- Try to limit lawn area and choose water efficient plants like natives and succulents.Watering lawn uses large amounts of water.Prepare it- Improve the soil with organic matter like compost and add some wetting crystalsto maximize the soil’s water retaining abilities.Plant it- Group plants with similar watering needs together.Water it- Poke your finger in the soil or look at your soil moisture probe to check if your plantsneed watering.WaterWise ProductsMulch it- To help the soil retain moisture apply a 50-100mm layer of mulch. Before mulching,always make sure you water the soil well around all the plant.Tank it- Install a rainwater tank as an alternative source of water for your garden.Recycle it- Greywater recycling systems allow you to water your lawns and non-food plantswith water from your shower, laundry and bathroom sink. Check with your local Council andDepartment of Health for guidelines. Making every drop count - When you waterWaterWise TipsReduce it- Cut-down on lawn area with pavers and plantings that do not require watering.Train it- To avoid a lazy lawn with shallow roots it is best to water less often. Grass will copebetter with hot dry weather if you don’t cut it too short.Target it- A watering can or cut-off hose nozzle makes it easier to direct water where it ismost needed at the base of plants.Time it- Water in the cool of the early morning or evening to reduce water lost to evaporation.
WaterWise ProductsTest it- Invest in a soil moisture probe or put your finger in the soil to see if it is dry and needswatering.Drip it- If you want a watering system, consider installing a drip irrigation or micro-irrigationsystem preferably with rain and soil moisture sensors.Ask about it- Ask your local garden centers and irrigation installers for advice.Automate it- Automatic controllers can water different garden zones at different times andwhen used with rain and moisture sensors they know not to water when it’s raining!Time it- Use a garden tap timer to ensure hoses are not left on by mistake. Making every drop count - OutdoorsWaterWise TipsCover it- Keep swimming pools covered to reduce water loss from evaporation.Sweep it- Sweep hard surface areas rather than hosing them.Nozzle it- Hoses fitted with a cut-off nozzle will use less water than an unrestricted hose andcan be readily shut off when not needed.Bucket it- Use a bucket to wash your car on the lawn and hose with a cut-off nozzle to rinseit.WaterWise ProductsCatch it- Install a rainwater tank as an alternative water source for your garden and pool.Divert it- Down pipe diverters or fire plugs let you divert rainwater to top up your pool.Get smart- Look out for the Smart Approved WaterMark on water efficient products foroutdoors. Visit www.wsaa.asn.au/smartwaretmark for more information.
Water efficient choicesYou need the right information to help make water efficient choices.Can you work out how much you use looking at the table on the right? If you want to do a fullhome water audit visitwww.makingeverydropcount.com.auHow to choose water efficient indoors…Look out for water efficiency rating labels with the 1-6 blue stars. The more stars, the morewater and money you will save over time.Visit www.waterrating.gov.au or call 1800 803 772 for more information.How to choose water efficient outdoors…Choose outdoor products with the Smart Approved WaterMark. For more information visitwww.wsaa.asn.au/smartwatermarkArea Appliance or fixture Average liters usedBathroomShower Zero star shower rose 20-25 Liters per minute* 3star shower rose 7-9 liters per minuteBath Half full 80-95 liters per minuteToilet Single flush 12 liters per flush Dual flush (4star) 3 liters (half flush)/4.5 litersBrush Teeth Tap left running (full flush) Tap turned off 10-16 liters per minute* 10 litersKitchenRinsing dishes or vegetables 10-18 liters per minute*Dishwasher Non water efficient 25 liters per use Water efficient 15 liters per useLaundry Top Loading 120+ liters per use 5 star front loading washing 38 liters per use machineOutdoors Hose with no attachment 20-25 liters per minute* Hose with cut-off nozzle 6-15 liters per minute* Drip irrigation 4 liters per hour per dripper Sprinkler 1000 liters per hour** The exact rate of water flow will depend on where you live and what pressure the what pressurethe water is when it enters you home and whether or not you have water efficient fixtures!
Find and fix the leaksLeaky TipsLook for it- Keep an eye out for dripping taps and leaking pipes. A dripping tap can waste20,000 liters of water a year.Fix it- If a new washer doesn’t fix a leaky tap call a plumber. The seat of the tap may needgrinding down or you may be due to buy a new water efficient tap!Color it- Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet cistern. If color appears in the bowlwithout flushing you have a leak to find and fix.Service it- Have your evaporative cooler serviced regularly. The valves can fail and stickopen, wasting liters of water each day.Meter readingSleep on it- Your water meter can detect leaks while you sleep!Read it- Read your water meter last thing at night and first thing in the morning before youuse any water. If the numbers have moved you have a leak to find!Decipher it- Generally speaking the black numbers are kilolitres and the red numbers areliters. If you need help call your Council or visit www.makingeverydropcount.com.au
Home WaterWise TipsAre you really making every drop count at home and in the garden? Answer these quickquestions and add up your water drops to see how water efficient you are! Scor eDo you have a water Less than 30 seconds 30 seconds - 1 minute More than 1 minuteefficient shower?How long does it take yourshower to fill a 9 literbucket?How long was your last More than 8 Minutes 4-8 minutes Less than 4 minutesshower?Do you turn the tap off No Yes Yes, and I use a cupwhile you brush your to rinseteeth?Is your toilet single or dual Single flush Single flush with Dual; flushflush? cistern weight or brickAre your kitchen taps water Less than 8 seconds 8-12 seconds More than 12efficient? secondsHow long does it take to filla 2 liter jug from yourkitchen tap?What time of day do you During the heat of the Early morning or I don’t waterwater your garden? day evening onlyHow do you water your Sprinkler or hose left Hand-held hose with Microirrigation or dripgarden? running cut-off nozzle irrigation systemHow do you clean your With a hose With a high pressure With a broomdriveways, paths and water cleaner or hosefootpaths? with water efficient nozzleHow do you wash your car In the street or on the On the lawn with a On the lawn with aat home? driveway with a hose hose bucket and hose fitted with a cut-off nozzle Total:
How did you score?More than 20 water drops, the good news is that there are lots of things you can do to becomemore water efficient! Consider installing some water efficient devices or making some changesto your water use habits.15-20 Water drops! Well done! You are well on your way to making every drop count! Whatsimple changes could you make to knock your score down to 14? Hopefully you can find somesolutions in this book!Less than 15 water drops, congratulations! You really are making every drop count! Keep up thegood work!Amazing water droplets! More than two thirds of the earth’s surface is covered by water but less than 1% is freshwater; 97% is too salty and 2% is ice. There is no more water today than there was when life on Earth first began. We are drinking the same water that the dinosaurs drank! Australia is the worlds driest inhabited continent. Water is our most precious resource because without it we would be dead! The Namoi Catchment is approximately 42,000 square kilometers. All the 87,000 people in the Namoi Catchment who use water can help to save this precious resource.
What is the water cycle?Nature recycles our water again and again in a process called the water cycle. The water cycle has 3 main parts … Evaporation – The sun’s heat causes some water in our rivers and pools to change into steam or water vapour. Condensation – As the water vapour in the air rises it becomes cooler and turns back into tiny water droplets forming clouds. Precipitation – The water drops get colder and heavier and it rains. This Making Every Drop Count guide to saving water at home and in the garden is part of the Better Urban Waste Use Efficiency – Education and Community Awareness Campaign of the Namoi Local Government Group and Namoi Catchment Management Authority.
When you touch a tap you can choose to become a part of the solution, ensuring a sustainable water future for us all. Even if you only make one or two changes suggested in this book or on our website www.makingeverydroupcount.com.au, the seemingly small amount of water you save each time will add up to millions of liters over a lifetime. Namoi Catchment Management Authority Tel: (02) 6742 9220 Narrabri Shire Council Tel: (02) 6799 6866