At home

Water-saving tips in your garden

Useful tips for reducing water usage around the garden to save on your utility bills.

  • Use a broom or rake rather than a hose to clean paths, paved areas and decks.
  • Use a trigger hose or watering can to water plants.
  • Only water the garden when necessary. Test the soil with your finger; if it's damp two centimetres down, you don't need to water.
  • Do the watering early, so the garden can absorb it before the warmest part of the day.
  • Train your lawn to use less water by letting the soil dry out sometime in spring. This encourages roots to grow deeper and makes watering more effective.
  • As the seasons change, monitor and adjust the amount of water applied.
  • Choose lawns and native Australian plants with a low water-demand.
  • Keep planted areas dense and consolidated, and group plants according to their water requirements.
  • Use windbreaks, pergolas, screens, lattice, shade cloth and vines to shelter your home, outdoor living areas and plants.
  • Before planting, prepare the soil with water crystals so plants can make the most of the water.
  • Collect rainwater using buckets or a tank.
  • Consider establishing a greywater system In the kitchen.
  • When buying products and appliances, look for the Smart Approved Water Mark label.
  • Follow the Royal Botanic Gardens’ advice on Being thrifty with water.

Washing your car

  • Use a waterless car wash or one that recycles water and uses high-pressure cleaning units.
  • If washing by hand, use a bucket instead of a hose (which uses up to 20 litres of water a minute).
  • Rinse with a hose fitted with a fine-mist spray nozzle.
  • Washing the car on the lawn waters the grass and helps prevent the run-off entering the stormwater system.

In your pool and spa

  • Use a pool cover or blanket to save water and money. It will keep your pool warmer, cleaner and cut down the water lost through evaporation. More than your pool’s entire volume of water can be lost each year through evaporation.
  • Cover your pool with a shade cloth or sail to reduce evaporation, reduce leaf-litter in your pool and protect you from the sun.
  • Position walls, hedges and plants around your pool when landscaping, to create shelter and reduce evaporation from wind.
  • Regularly check that the pool filter is working properly and the pool has no leaks, which waste water, no matter how small.

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Page last updated: 10 December 2015