Being water wise

Winter is the perfect time to start thinking and acting on saving water. Why? Because before the hot Summer comes back we can already have mastered some good habits.

NSW is suffering through drought and our dams are at levels lower than the rest of the country. Keepit Dam north west of Tamworth ran dry at the end of 2018 and other dams in NSW country areas are at around 3 percent.

In Sydney our metropolitan dams are also low. Warragamba Dam is at around 55 percent and Woronora Dam is at less than 45 percent capacity.

With Sydney and surrounding areas increasing in population growth we need to make sure there is enough water for everyone, and this means reviewing how we use this very valuable resource.

There are lots of water saving tips. Some might already be in place in our homes so here are some tips that may not have been thought of but can be implemented right now and for low cost:

  • its Winter so reuse your hot water bottle water on plants or the lawn
  • cook food in as little water as possible, which helps retain nutrients, by popping on a lid to create steam
  • wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap and then reuse that water on the garden
  • keep your shower to four minutes
  • Wait until your dishwasher or washing machine is fully loaded before you turn it on
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave.

Make sure you maintain all your water outlets – fix dripping taps or running toilets, install a water saving showerhead and only water gardens or balcony plants in the cooler parts of the day to prevent evaporation.

Sydney Water has water saving tips on its website

The NSW Government has introduced some water restrictions for Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra, and fines for breaches may apply. The restrictions are:

  • watering is allowed before 10 am and after 4 pm on any day – to avoid the heat of the day
  • all hoses must have a trigger nozzle
  • no hosing of hard surfaces, such as paths and driveways, but washing vehicles is allowed
  • fire hoses may only be used for fire-fighting activities.

Details of these restrictions in other areas of NSW are available at