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We need to become smart water users at home by conserving water and using it efficiently; conservation and efficiency measures alone can reduce water use at home by half and your total water footprint by 5%.
We also need to make more considered choices about the food we buy and eat, and the goods and services we consume that use a lot of water. Choosing to grow some of your own produce, buying locally-grown and in-season produce, eating less meat and minimising food waste can reduce your total water footprint by 25-30%!
Have a look at how Water-Wise Wendy did it. Check out Wendy's attempts to reduce her total water footprint by half and her home's water use by between 80 and 100%.
Top water-use actions for a secure water future
It's really quite easy to reduce almost immediately your water footprint inside and outside the home by between 30 and 50%!
Here's a quick guide to what we need to do to become more water-smart. With each action is a summary of the cost savings and virtual water use (i.e. total water used to make the food, goods and services we use) reduced with each action.
Overall benefit (total % virtual water saved, and cost savings)
Conserve at home:
Take shorter showers, turn-off the tap, fix leaks, wash full loads and convert lawns to drought-resistant groundcovers.
Saves 30% on home water use costs.
Become water efficient:
Install a triple-A rated showerhead, dual-flush cistern, 4- to 6-star water-rated appliances, efficient irrigation systems and a trigger nozzle on your hose.
Saves 30-40% on home water use costs and 10-25% on hot water costs.
Use electricity smartly:
Conserve, become efficient and use renewable energy.
Saves 20-70% on home electricity costs.
Re-use greywater and harvest rainwater:
Saves 50-70% on home water-use costs. Installation and payback costs dependent on system; 3-7 years average with rebate.
Prevent waste of consumable items:
Only buy what you will consume, do not impulse-buy and do not let food and cosmetics spoil. Buy quality and durable items, repair and maintain them.
Saves about 15% on food costs, possibly 10% on personal care costs.
Reduce meat intake by 50% or more and diary intake by 30%.
Cost-neutral against food alternatives or slight saving.
Buy second-hand books, clothes, furniture and glassware. Refuse packaging, carry a shopping bag and go electronic for all your information.
Grow your own:
Grow in-season fresh produce and water with your own greywater or rainwater; make some of your own wine or beer.
Saves 35-65% on fresh food costs after cost of growing from seed and maintenance.
Why not take action now?
To calculate your direct water use, find solutions, top tips and how-to information, have a look at the Water-Wise Action Plan.
To reduce your total water footprint, use the solutions and tips in the following sections: