New Zealanders are fortunate enough to have several water supply options at their disposal. Much of the country gets their water from a public scheme, some rely on bores and wells, and others have rain tanks that fill from what runs down their downspouts. Even though all these water supply options differ, they all have one thing in common: they can run out.
All it takes is a severe dry spell for all water supplies to deplete, and water conservation efforts go into overdrive. If, however, you make a conscientious effort to conserve water – even before a drought happens – you can make it through without losing water altogether. You can talk to your local plumbers about water preserving tips, or take note of this helpful advice below.
Water Conservation Outside
When local councils put water restrictions in place, the first thing they ask is for you to stop washing the car and watering your gardens. It’s not until you find out what they expect that you realise how much water you waste outside.
The first thing to be aware of before you get the hose out is the weather forecast. If it’s going to rain later in the day, why bother watering them? Mother Nature will take care of it for you. Don’t water your garden when it’s windy, as the water evaporates quickly, and don’t overwater plants unnecessarily.
If you rely on a town supply to get your water, then consider installing a rainwater tank for your garden. That way, you can store water from your roof in a container for use in your gardens, instead of precious drinking water from the tap. You may also like to invest in drought-resistant plants that don’t require your care, and use recycled grey water from the house to take care of the others.
Water Conservation in Your Kitchen
You don’t realise how much water you use in your kitchen until you are forced to use almost none at all. You can get ahead of the game by ramping up your conservation efforts early. Then, if conservation rules come into effect, you won’t have to make all too many changes.
The first thing to consider are all your water-using appliances. Ask your local plumbers about the best dishwashers, for example, that will use minimal water. If it has a lower rating than three stars, consider one with three or above.
Other water saving tips in the kitchen can include filling the dishwasher entirely before running it, peeling vegetables in a small bowl of water, not with a running tap, and calling plumbers to fix leaking taps. You will be amazed at how much water you can lose from a dripping faucet.
Water Conservation in Your Bathroom & Laundry
Water conservation in your bathroom is something that can happen from the day you start building your new home. Talk to local plumbers about your intentions. They will be able to suggest a dual-flush toilet, low-flow shower heads, and efficient toilets that use minimal water.
If you’re looking for other ways to conserve water in your bathroom, then use a cup of water to brush your teeth, instead of running the tap. Turn the shower off while you shampoo, and ask plumbers to fix any corroding pipes or fixtures that could impact your water supply.
Water conservation is something you can achieve in your laundry with a plumber’s help as well. They can fix any leaking or dripping taps, identify water-hungry washing machines, and offer you advice on the best washing machines to conserve water.
If you are happy with your washing machine, then it can still do better. Run it only when you have a full load of laundry, and always check the correct water level. If you are handwashing garments, put a plug in the sink so you can use the water for your gardens later on.
Many people only start water conservation efforts when their councils tell them to, but it can begin far earlier than that. If everyone put more effort into conserving the water they had, it would last longer so you could make it through a drought period more comfortably.
Start using these tips and tricks now, regardless of whether you’re on town supply, a well, bore, or you have a rain tank. You can also refer to the New Zealand Drought Monitor to find out when you need to send your efforts into overdrive.
This monitor measures soil moisture, rain, and evapotranspiration. It will then put each area of the country on a scale of dry, very dry, extremely dry, drought, and severe drought. Pay attention to this monitor and put steps in place to be more conscientious with your water usage today. When in doubt, or if you need any assistance, talk to your local plumbers for tips and advice.
Published by Matthew Piggot