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Renting

Water smart tips

Being water efficient helps make every drop and dollar count.

  • Consider water-efficient appliances and fixtures.When buying a new appliance or fixture, consider a water-efficient model. Look for the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) rating. There is also a range of rebates available to you or your landlord for installing or purchasing water-efficient products.
  • Using taps efficiently. A tap leaking at the rate of one drip a second wastes more than 12,000l of water a year. Save water by fixing any leaking taps as soon as possible. You can reduce your water use by installing aerators. Aerators limit water flow and can be fitted to the inside or outside of taps. You may have to check with your landlord before going ahead.

Save water in the bathroom

  • Showering. By installing a water-efficient showerhead can save a two-person household at least $160 a year on energy and water costs. If you have old inefficient showerheads, trying asking your landlord to replace these with water-efficient models as these use around 20% of the water and there are a number of rebates available.
    • If you’re a renter in New South Wales and your water is separately metered you’re liable for the water bill, but only if the landlord meets water efficiency requirements. If your landlord hasn’t installed showerheads, cold water taps and single mixer taps in bathroom and kitchen sinks that have a maximum flow-rate of 9l a minute, you’re not liable to pay the water charges. It’s worthwhile checking the Renters' resources section below for more information in your state or territory.

  • Flushing toilets. When using a dual-flush toilet, opt for the half-flush where appropriate. If your landlord is replacing a single-flush toilet, consider suggesting a water-efficient dual flush model as it could save 55l a person daily. If this isn't an option, you could buy a water displacement device or use a plastic bottle filled with water in the cistern to reduce its water capacity.

Save water in the backyard

A garden hose hanging next to a tap

©iStockphoto.com

In Australia we use up to 60% of household water outdoors, but there are things you can do to significantly reduce this.

  • Water smart gardening. A traditional green lawn can use up to 90% of your gardening water. You can reduce this by setting your mower to cut at 4cm or higher. You can also reduce your garden water use by improving watering practices and choosing water-efficient products.
  • Using greywater. Use your greywater to use on your non-edible plants by placing a bucket in the shower or by catching rainwater where it falls outside.

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