How can we use water in a sustainable way?

How can we use water in a sustainable way?
Photo: Gratisography, Pexels

Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world. With water being the largest, and most important, natural resource on the planet, protecting it is absolutely vital. Here’s the rundown on why water sustainability matters, as well as simple methods of conservation you can use.

Why water sustainability is important

Water is crucial to Australia’s economy, society and environment. However, there many factors that impact the security of water in this county, including:

  • Population growth
  • Environmental degradation
  • Climate change
  • Rainfall
  • Pollution
  • Land use
  • Demand for Australian exports (particularly natural resources and food)

So the question is – how do we protect it? This is where sustainability comes in. Among other things, managing Australia’s water usage will require technological innovations to create efficient and productive solutions. But more than this, sustainability is something everyday Australians need to wrap their heads around, so they can use best practices around the home.

Install water efficient fixtures

While the water we use around the home might seem insignificant, every drop counts – and saving it can be as simple as investing in water efficient fixtures. These include:

  • Showerheads: By switching old showerheads with new, 3-star water efficient ones, you will save more than 12,000 litres of water per year.
  • Low-flow taps: These do exactly as their name suggests – reduce the amount of water coming out of your taps.
  • Dual flush toilets: Installing a dual flush toilet means you can use the right amount of water to clear the toilet bowl.

Ultimately, replacing older water fixtures with low-flowing ones is a low-cost and easy solution for your home to conserve water (and save money). Additionally using green technology in your home will go a long way to conserve your water use. 

Remember to recycle water

Recycling water is a simple, yet under practiced, sustainability method in Australia. With fresh water resources expected to decline with global warming, as well as an increasing population putting the pressure on, recycling water is more important than ever. As well as collecting fresh rainwater in a tank, one way to do this around the home is by setting up a greywater system.

What is greywater? Basically, it’s the wastewater from a range of water sources such as your bath, laundry and shower. Setting up a greywater system allows you to reuse greywater from your home – totalling around an average 1,500 litres each week.

Systems can be as simple as using a bucket to collect water from the bath and using it in the garden, to installing treatment and reuse systems that enable greywater to be used for flushing toilets, washing cloths and irrigation.

Practice sustainable gardening

There are many benefits of gardening for adults. However maintaining a garden takes a lot of energy and water. However, sustainable gardening is a simple and effective way to minimise the impact this has on the environment. Importantly, sustainable gardening shouldn’t be thought of as a trend, but as a responsibility. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Recycle water: As mentioned above, installing fresh rainwater tanks and greywater systems is a sustainable way of using water in the garden.
  • Plant natives. Indigenous plants require less watering and maintenance than other species. Plus, they attract a range of wildlife such as birds, reptiles and insects.
  • Plant a shaded tree. Trees that provide natural shade will help protect your garden from.

Doing your part for the environment

Our impact on the world is profound. While it may seem like one household’s efforts doesn’t do much in the grand scheme of things, the truth is any sustainable practices you implement in your home is energy well spent. In fact, sustainable water use in your home and garden will go a long way in reducing the cost of your water bill.

So whether you’re updating your features, using recycled water in your garden or utilising native plants that don’t need much water, your sustainable water use will do wonders.