There are many opportunities to reduce the water used in your business. Whether you’re in manufacturing, retail or an event operator, learn more about how to reduce the water consumption of your business.

Residential customer? View our water saving tips for your home.

Food processing consumes over 241,000 ML of water per year (Water Account Australia, 2004). This equates to 28% of the total water used in the manufacturing sector nationwide, making it the largest water using sector. Within the sector, water use (in litres per kilogram of production) ranges from 1 (for bakery products) to 9 (for meat products).  To reduce water consumption in food processing, we recommend you:

  • Understand the true cost of water to the operation.
  • Accurately measure and monitor water consumption.
  • Increase staff awareness and involvement in water efficiency initiatives.
  • Install efficient equipment (e.g. spray nozzles).
  • Identify and repair leaks.

The heavy manufacturing industry is a significant user of water in Australia. Key areas of water use include:

  • Plant and equipment cooling
  • Product cleaning and preparation
  • The application of paint and dyes
  • Product cooling
  • Equipment and site wash down

Generally speaking, there are three main areas for water savings* in industry:

  • Identifying and eliminating wastage (such as leaks) and inefficient processes (such as continual spray devices on stop-start production lines). This may be the most low cost area for water savings, as it involves minimal capital outlay. Savings can be made through implementing procedural changes, such as cleaning plant areas with brooms rather than water.
  • Changing processes and plant machinery. A retrofit of key plant equipment may increase efficiency. Alternatively, upgrades to more efficient models can be factored in to planned maintenance and replacement schedules.
  • Reusing wastewater. As well as saving on mains water, this option may improve the reliability of supply.



An increased focus on water efficiency is important for many reasons. With South East Queensland experiencing a climate of extremes, there is the important sustainability consideration of ensuring enough water to meet future demand. For stadiums and entertainment venues there are also the associated financial benefits. Water efficient stadiums and entertainment venues can save money through:

  • Reduced water use charges
  • Reduced trade waste charges
  • Reduced energy costs associated with heating and pumping water around a site

Our top water efficiency tips for stadiums and entertainment venues include:

  • Constantly monitor your water use
  • Sub-metering in all major water using areas like cooling towers, bathrooms and grounds irrigation systems
  • Employee education and awareness e.g. less water intensive cleaning practises and responsibility for reporting leaks in taps/toilets with clear processes
  • Rain or stormwater harvesting can make a suitable fit for purpose replacement for several potential end uses including sporting field irrigation, cooling tower water and toilet flushing
  • Install efficient fixtures including 6 star WELS rated basin tapware, waterless or low flow urinals, 5 star or better WELS rated dual flush toilets and 3 star or better WELS rated showerheads
  • Conduct regular onsite audits to ensure the venue is following the best operating mode with regards to all water use. Specialist external auditors may look at things through a different lens and identify previously unforseen opportunities.

Download our water efficiency factsheet

The water management actions shown below are good points of focus for hotels wanting to achieve best practice in water efficiency:

  • Constantly monitor your water use - one key to improving water efficiency in hotels is having a better understanding of end use patterns, so ongoing monitoring by reading your main meter and any internal sub-meters is vital. Any noticeable change in usage trends can then be quickly investigated.
  • Sub-metering. By knowing exactly how much water different areas of the hotel use will allow you to focus your efficiency efforts on the areas with the most potential. From a monitoring perspective sub-metering makes it easier to identify what area of the hotel might be responsible for a noticeable change in use. Suggested end use areas for sub-metering in a hotel include the kitchen, the swimming pool, the cooling tower and the laundry.
  • Education and awareness. Staff can be provided suitable training e.g. less water intensive cleaning practices and responsibility for reporting leaks in taps/toilets/showers with clear processes for follow up actions.
  • Customers can be given in-room information about the current water situation in the region and any conservation projects the hotel has in place like, re-using their towel or taking shorter showers. Any customer actions should be framed as voluntary but there is a growing sustainability push in the community with many guests now taking note of a hotel’s efforts in this area when choosing their accommodation.
  • Install efficient fixtures. With accommodation rooms accounting for the largest portion of water use in hotels, installing water efficient appliances like 7.5L/minute showerheads, 3L/minute tapware, 4.5L/3L dual-flush toilets and waterless or low flow urinals, can lead to a large reduction in total water use. Water efficient showerheads have been developed to the stage now that a successful balance between water efficiency, shower pressure and guest satisfaction can be found. For suitable products visit

Download our water efficiency factsheet


Establishing a water use benchmark is the best place to start for any retail centre looking to improve its water efficiency. The industry recognised benchmark for water use performance in retail centres is kilolitres per gross lettable area (kL/m2GLA) and is generally represented on an annual basis.

Rather than total water used, this benchmark is the figure recommended to be tracked over time as a measure of water use performance as it accounts for any changes in business activity.

Our top water efficiency tips for retail centres include:

  • Constantly monitoring your water use
  • Sub-metering willl tell you how much water different areas of the retail centre use will allow you to focus your efficiency efforts on the areas with most potential
  • Tenancy charging - by sub-metring all tenancies you are able to charge accordingly for actual water use. This will in turn create an incentive for tenants to seek out more water efficient behaviours within their business
  • Employee education and awareness e.g. less water intensive cleaning practises and responsibility for reporting leak in taps/toilets with clear processes
  • Garden design and efficient irrigation - use local native species that are drought tolerant and able to survive on low volumes of water.
  • Rain or stormwater harvesting
  • Install efficient features
  • Review cooling tower maintenance procedures and conduct full and part site water audits.

Download our water efficiency factsheet.