As you’ve probably heard by now, Australian scientists are describing this season’s El Nino as Godzilla.
According to their predictions, Australia can expect extreme heat, long dry spells and a higher risk of bushfires. And, for the driest continent on Earth (besides Antarctica), that might well mean some serious water shortages. So, to make sure your summer is as enjoyable as possible, it’s a good idea to start thinking about saving water now. Why wait for a crisis to hit, when there’s still time to prepare?
Here are five clever water-saving tips to get you going.
1. Get rid of those leaks
You might think that minor leaks don’t have much of an impact. But did you know that a dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water per year? Comb your home for drips and get them fixed. Not sure how to do that? Here’s an easy trick. Turn off every single tap or fixture in your home and then check the water meter. Wait a few hours. If the water meter has gone up a notch or several, then you have a leak on your hands. You might want to ask your plumber for help with finding it!
2. Invest in a rainwater tank
A rainwater tank might sound costly, but, in the long run, it’s a great investment – both environmental and financial. That’s why tanks are mandatory for new homes these days. Most can harvest thousands of litres of water per year, significantly decreasing your dependence on the mains supply.
3. Replace old appliances with new, efficient ones
A water-saving showerhead uses only 9 litres of water per minute, which is 9,000 litres fewer than its old-fashioned equivalent. Meanwhile, a modern, 3-star rated dishwasher uses 18 litres per load, instead of the traditional 40. Similar savings can be made on most appliances. So, out with the old and in with the new! If you’re not ready to buy brand new products, start with fitting flow regulators to your current taps.
4. Quit all that rinsing!
Rinsing, like dripping, doesn’t sound like it uses much water. But every little bit adds up. So don’t rinse unless you absolutely have to. That principle applies to everything. Pull frozen dinners out of the fridge as soon as you wake up, rather than running them under hot water later in the day. Wash your hands in a plugged sink, rather than under a running tap. The same goes for vegetables. Don’t rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher – use the machine’s rinse option instead.
5. Recycle grey water
You probably don’t want to pop grey water back in the washing machine. But it does have plenty of other uses, such as watering the garden. You can collect it via simple, old-school methods, like buckets! Or, to make life easier, invest in a fancy, but very effective, diversion system, which will automatically transfer water from your machine to the garden. You don’t even have to think about it.
So, what are you waiting for? With El Nino expected to hit its peak in January, it’s time to get moving.