Water is something we need every day in our lives. It’s also a valuable resource that we should never waste. Avoiding waste means being aware of how we use water and taking advantage of water-efficient appliances and fixtures.
You can take action to use water wisely at home whether you’re buying, selling or renovating, and especially when building or renovating. The decisions you make will affect your water usage for many years to come.
What is water efficiency?
Water efficiency in the home means using less water to provide the same level of service or to get the same result.
Water efficiency can be achieved by using improved technology, for example water-efficient appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. Water-efficient models will get your clothes and dishes just as clean - they’ll just use less water doing it. Fixtures which allow us to use less water to get a job done effectively are also known as being water efficient, for example water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets.
If you use less water that’s been heated, you’ll be saving energy as well as water.
Using water wisely
Installing water-efficient appliances and fixtures is a great way to start saving water, but the way you live and use water at home also makes a big difference. The benefit of installing a water-efficient showerhead is greatly reduced if you’re going to take 15 minute showers. Using water from your rainwater tank to hose down your garden path is still a waste of water.
There are many actions you can take to use water efficiently, both inside and outside your home.
Building or renovating
Building or renovating? That’s often the perfect time to consider installing appliances and fixtures that allow you to reduce the amount of water you use.
If you want to install a greywater system and or rainwater storage tanks, it’s much better to think about that during the planning stages. A large underground water tank is a great way to store water for outside use, but can be difficult and expensive to install after a house has been built. Likewise, installing a greywater system is much easier as a home is being built.
Buying a home
If you’re buying a home, look out for water-saving features. Homes with a number of water-saving appliances and fixtures can mean water wastage is considerably reduced. Look for features that suit your needs.
If you’re selling a home, don’t forget to mention in advertising any water-saving or water-efficient features. Make sure you point these out to your real estate agent as well. These can add value to the property’s value and be a real selling point for buyers with an interest in the environment.
Features such as greywater systems and rainwater tanks may appeal to keen gardeners, and water-efficient showers and other appliances may appeal to large families and those who want to minimise water costs and avoid wasting water.
If you rent, you may feel that there aren’t many changes you can make in your home to save water. But there are many actions you can take.
If you have large inefficient showerheads or older style toilets without dual flush, talk to your landlord about the possibility of making improvements. This will improve the value of the landlord’s property. You could also investigate any rebates and assistance available for landlord and pass on this information.
A home sustainability assessment can help you to identify where you can make the biggest savings in your home including how you can save money, save water and save energy. Home assessments will help you to identify ways you can reduce your impact on the environment. After your home assessment, you should receive a tailored report outlining the actions you can take and what your expected savings could be.