We’re lucky in SEQ that water is available to us simply by turning on the tap.

We can wake up in the morning, take a shower, brush our teeth, grab a cup of coffee, and head out for the day. We also know water is a precious and finite resource and each of us has a part to play in using water in a sustainable way.

Boys in bath with bubbles


  • Switch to a water efficient shower head. They use around 9 litres of water per minute*, while old style showerheads use around 20 litres per minute.
  • If you’re trying to cut down on shower times, why not download our Bathroom Beats Spotify playlist, which encourages shorter showers to save on energy costs as well as water usage. A timer can also be useful – choose from a manual egg timer or an electronic one. 
  • Shower with a bucket and you can collect water for the garden while waiting for the water to heat up.


  • A leaking tap can waste up to 20,000 litres per year, so make sure you fix leaks as soon as you notice them.
  • Consider installing flow restrictors in your taps, as they can reduce water flow by up to 50 per cent.
  • Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth to save 5 litres per minute.
  • Fill the sink with a small amount of water to rinse your razor and face when shaving instead of running the tap.


  • Check the temperature as you fill to avoid unnecessarily adding extra water to get the correct temperature after the bath is at the right level.
  • Use as little water as possible in the bath by placing the plug in before you turn the tap on. Only fill the bath with as much water as you need. Use less for children and pets. You may also like to bath children together.


  • If you’re buying a new toilet, choose a dual flush model. These toilets use just 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush. They can save the average home 30 litres per day.
  • Don't flush needlessly. Use the half-flush option on dual flush toilets and only ever flush the three p's - pee, poo and paper.
  • Check for leaks in your toilet by placing a few drops of food dye into the cistern. If, after 15 minutes, the food dye has seeped into the bowl then you may have a leak. We recommend you get in contact with a licensed plumber to fix this for you.

Washing up

  • Don’t rinse dishes under a running tap. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinsing water. If you have only one sink, rinse dishes in a pan of hot water.
  • Use washing-up liquid sparingly as this will reduce the amount of rinsing required.
  • When boiling vegetables, use just enough water to cover them and keep the lid on the saucepan, or alternatively, use a steamer. This helps them to cook quicker, saves water and power and preserves precious vitamins in the food.
  • If you have a leaking tap, replace the washer or other components as required. Dripping taps can waste 30-200 litres of water per day#.


  • If you’re installing a new dishwasher, choose a water efficient model. Before you buy, check the appliance for a WELS label*. The more stars, the more water efficient it is.
  • Only turn on the dishwasher when it’s full to save thousands of litres per year.
  • Use short wash cycles when you can.

Food preparation

  • Part-fill the sink with water when preparing vegetables or washing fruit instead of running under the tap.
  • Don’t use running water to defrost food. Place the food in the refrigerator to defrost.
  • Catch running water in a bucket or container while waiting for the hot water to come through. Use it to water plants, rinse dishes or wash fruit and vegetables.


  • Choose a front load washing machine with a 4-star WELS Scheme* rating or better and you could use up to 50 percent^ less water than lower WELS rated washing machines. 
  • Front loaders use less water than top loaders, up to 70% less in some cases or 36,000 litres per year for a typical household# Try to only wash when you have a full load.
  • Instead of doing a lot of small loads, sort clothes and wash bigger loads less frequently and you will save 10 litres# of water each wash. 
  • Pre-treating stains before you wash will reduce the need to rewash. 
  • When hand washing delicate fabrics, use only as much water as you need in the sink or bucket.


#Smart Approved Watermark

*WELS label products


car washing

Keeping your car and driveway clean doesn’t mean you need to use large amounts of water. With waterless and water efficient car washes and high pressure low-flow cleaners you can clean while being water efficient.

  • Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car rather than using the hose. If you do use a hose, attach a trigger nozzle so you can control the flow.
  • Wash your car on the grass allowing runoff water to water your lawn.
  • Treat your car to a waterless car wash or use a low water or recycled water car wash.
  • Sweep your driveways and footpaths instead of hosing them with water to save 11 litres of water a minute. If you need to wash the area, fill a bucket and only use what you need.
  • Wash with greywater from the bath (check with your local council for guidelines on using greywater in your area).

Evaporation is a major cause of water loss from pools and spas, but it can be reduced by up to 90% by simply using a pool cover#. Covering the pool can save 36,000 litres a year by lowering the water temperature, decreases evaporation and prevents debris falling on the pool surface.

  • Increase shade over the pool to help further reduce evaporation.
  • Wind contributes to evaporation. Help to reduce water loss by landscaping around the pool with walls and hedges to create shelter from the wind.
  • Top up your swimming pool with tank water or a rainwater diverter. Rainwater diverters can be attached to a downpipe to divert rainwater into your swimming pool. They are a less expensive alternative to installing a tank.
  • Keep the water level a bit lower. When your pool experiences frequent use, swimming and splashing can result in a lot of water going over the edge of the pool. You don’t want to stop enjoying your pool, so consider keeping the water level several centimetres lower to prevent excess spillage.
  • Check the weather forecast before topping up your pool. If it is forecast to rain, let nature top it up for you!

#Smart Approved Watermark

Tips for making the most of every drop include:

  • avoid watering during the heat of the day to reduce evaporation
  • mulch your garden to help retain moisture and
  • give your soil some TLC with compost so any rain we do get can sink in
  • watching the weather, so you can let mother nature do the work for you if rain is on its way

Many plants are much tougher than we think, so we need to be careful we’re not over-watering. It’s better to give your garden a drink less frequently, but for longer, to help encourage deeper root growth.

Sustainable plants:


Name: Sturt desert rose
Description: This small to medium sized shrub has mauve flowers with a darker red-eye, but there are also forms with white and yellow flowers. They are grown as garden plants and are cold and drought tolerant.
Water use: Minimal


Name: Bougainvillea
These spectacular climbing shrubs have glorious flower displays with a range of colours and dark green foliage. They are very drought tolerant but cannot withstand repeated frosts and require well-drained soils.
Water use: Minimal

willow brush

Name: Willow bottlebrush
Description: This small tree grows to 7m in height and produces an excellent weeping form when mature. This plant is a nectar and seed source for birds.
Water use: Minimal


grevilleaName: Grevillea
Description: This spreading shrub has dark green arching leaves. The grevillea is adaptable and bird attracting.
Water use: Minimal



Visit Smart Approved WaterMark for a list of over 700 water efficient plants and shrubs suitable for where you live.

Improving your soil

  • mulch your garden to help retain moisture. Mulching reduces water evaporation from soil. It can also provide plants with important nutrients and control weed growth
  • give your soil some TLC with compost so any rain we do get can sink in