Using and saving water at home

Did you know Melburnians collectively consume an average of 980 million litres of water per day? Given that people do ask Andrew Hansen for water-saving tips, let's check in for a lowdown on how we can each meet Target 155.

Small changes for saving water

As Andrew said, there are small changes we can make at home to easily reach Target 155. This includes:

  • taking shorter showers.
  • turning off the tap when brushing your teeth.
  • putting a plug or container in the sink when preparing vegetables, washing fruit or washing dishes by hand.
  • using a broom to sweep the driveway or an air-blower for fast results.

Water-saving tips for the bathroom

Install a water-efficient showerhead

If you install a water-efficient showerhead, you could save over 10,000 litres of water each year. If you have an old or leaky showerhead, ask your retail water company if they have a showerhead exchange program. 

Install a dual-flush toilet

If you don't have a dual-flush toilet, ask your water retailer if they have a toilet replacement program. Installing a dual-flush toilet can save an incredible 35,000 litres of water a year for a family of four.

If your retailer does not offer a toilet replacement program and you require financial assistance, you might be eligible for the State Government's Community Rebate Program.

Buy a water-efficient washing machine

If you need to buy a washing machine, some quick research could pay off.

  • Be sure that your new washing machine has a five-star water efficiency rating (at minimum) and four-star energy rating.
  • Front-loading washing machines are usually the most water efficient, using up to 50% less water that top-loaders.
  • And remember, only wash when you have a full load.

For more tips on water-efficient washing machines, check out tips from Sustainability Victoria

Reuse water

Reuse water from baths, sinks or when washing clothes. This greywater could then be used to water the garden or wash your car. A good option is to collect the 'warm up' water when showering, running a bath, or using the kitchen sink. Or if possible, catch water from your washing machine's last rinse cycle.

Greywater must be used within 24 hours of collection unless it has been treated.

The simplest and cheapest option to store greywater is with a bucket or a container.

Another option is to connect a greywater diverter to your outdoor piping, and collect the water in a large container. Note that permanent greywater systems require approval from your local council and must be installed by a licenced plumber. For more information, check out greywater advice from the EPA.

Water-saving tips for outdoors

Be a water-wise gardener

  • Regardless of whether you use greywater on your garden, consider when and how often you water.

  • Use mulch or compost in the garden to increase water absorption and the moisture content of your soil.
  • Why not replace non-indigenous plants with Australian varieties for a more water-efficient garden? Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth and our native plants are built to withstand such dry conditions.
  • Consider planting a raingarden to capture stormwater or overflow from a rainwater tank.

Install a rainwater tank

Capturing rainwater to use in your garden is an excellent way to reduce the amount of drinking water you use. Catch rainwater with a bucket or install a rainwater tank.

First, check with your water retailer to determine if a rainwater tank is recommended for your area. Then, read our fact sheet on rainwater tanks to determine which size and style is best for your needs.

Rebates for rainwater tanks are only available if they are connected to the laundry or toilet. 

Find out more, including rebates on purchase costs, read more from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), or check out this fact sheet:

Check if you qualify for a rebate

If you are a concession card holder or can demonstrate hardship, some rebates for home and garden are available from the Victorian Government

  • Find out more about the Community Rebate Program, which assesses water efficiency of your appliances and, where necessary, fixes leaks around your property.
  • If you're an eligible concession card holder, you can receive 50% off your water bill.
  • If you're not connected to mains water supply, you could be eligible for purchasing of water for domestic use.

Listen for more

Listen to this Target 155 podcast from Yarra Valley Water Managing Director Pat McCafferty on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.



Imagine the Yarra without water...

Why we're securing our water supply

Melburnians are amazing at saving water but we all need to make every drop count. Read about how and why we're taking action to secure our water supply: now and into the future.

Securing our water supply



Last updated:
27 October 2019