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Water Conservation

Our Health depends on the health of our waterways. There are things we can do everyday to keep our waterways Healthy.

Everyday things to keep our Waterways Healthy
Protect, Conserve, Get Involved
Protect

In The Bathroom
  • The toilet is not the place to dispose of tissues, cotton buds, tampons, sanitary napkins, disposable nappies or condoms. Your toilet is not a garbage bin.
In The Kitchen
  • Only water should go down the drain. It's friendlier on our environment to pour used cooking oils and fats into an empty container and dispose of in the garbage bin.
In The Laundry
  • Using low phosphorous household cleaning products can help reduce blue-green algae in our rivers. When purchasing detergents look for products marked with 'NP' or 'P' as they contain no or low levels of phosphorous.
Outdoors
  • Try to use less fertilisers and pesticides on lawns and gardens. Over fertilising does not benefit plants. Excess fertiliser can seep into ground water or wash into local waterways via drains. Nutrients from fertilisers are a major cause of blue-green algae, especially nitrogen & phosphorus, while high levels of pesticides in our waterways can kill or poison fish and other aquatic life.
  • Washing the car on the lawn helps prevent detergents from entering our waterways.
  • Never pour used or unwanted paints or solvents down the drain. Contact your local council about disposal arrangements for hazardous waste.
  • A buffer of vegetation on river banks, streams and creeks act as a filter for soil, nutrients and other pollutants. To reduce river bank erosion minimize vehicular and animal access.
  • Take care when disposing of used motor oil. Your local council can provide you with the details of where to dispose of motor oil. A single litre of oil down the drain can pollute 9,500 litres of water
On The Farm
  • Monitor irrigation and drainage water quality.
  • Minimise deep drainage run-off.
  • Recycle water by developing tailwater drain reticulation systems.
  • Know the correct applications rates of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.
  • Keep livestock out of river beds and off river banks where possible and maintain riverine buffer zones.
  • Correct disposal of farm chemical containers ensures that contamination of waterways does not occur.

Conserve

In The Bathroom
  • Save money on your water and energy bill by installing an AAA rated shower rose. Compared to a standard shower that delivers up to 25 litres per minute a AAA shower rose uses less than 9 litres per minute of water.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Toilets are big water users. Use the full flush only when needed.
  • Turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or shaving can save up to 5 litres of water.
  • Installing tap aerators and flow regulators on taps that are regularly used for washing hands or brushing teeth is an inexpensive way to use less water.
  • Check toilets for hidden leaks by placing a few drops of food colouring in the tank. Wait 15 minutes. If the colour appears in the bowl, you have a leak, which needs to be prepared
In The Kitchen
  • When peeling or cleaning vegetables, rinse them in a plugged sink.
  • Operating a fully loaded dishwasher is more water efficient. AAA rated dishwashers, when operated fully loaded, use no more than hand washing and half the amount of water than older models.
In The Laundry
  • A front loading washing machine is more water and detergent efficient than top loading models.
  • Match the laundry setting on the washing machine with the amount of laundry to be washed.
Outdoors
  • Regularly check taps and pipes for leaks.
  • Use a broom to clean paths rather than a hose. Ten minutes spent hosing driveways and paths use around 200 litres of water.
  • When washing the car, it's better to use a bucket and sponge. A trigger operated nozzle hose can be used for a quick final rinse.
  • Maintaining lawn areas around 5cm high will reduce evaporation as the blades of grass shade each other. To be water efficient lawn areas should be kept to a minimum.
  • Drought-proof your plants by watering for longer, less often.
  • WaterWise gardeners water in the cooler parts of the day, preferably in the mornings when evaporation is less due to lower wind speeds.
  • Aerated soil allows water to reach plant roots where it is needed instead of pooling on the surface. A layer of mulch on garden beds will prevent water evaporation by up to 75%.
  • Installing a tap timer and drip irrigation system for watering the garden is more water efficient than using a hose or sprinkler.
  • Select plants suited to the local environment. Your local nursery will be able to help you with this. Remember natives are water efficient, but many exotics are also low water users.
  • Pool covers reduce evaporation and the frequency with which a pool needs to be topped-up.
  • Check pool regularly for leaks
On The Farm

Using the right amount at the right time is the key to being profitable while protecting our waterways.
  • Prepare and use the right irrigation and drainage management plan.
  • Improve the design, installation and maintenance of the water distribution system.
  • Site and manage water storages to minimise water losses.

Get Involved

Across the state, active members of the community are working together in a partnership with government for healthy and productive waterways and catchments. These groups are always on the look out for new and enthusiastic volunteers - more hands do make light work and opportunities to get involved are numerous.

Waterwatch NSW

promotes water quality monitoring as a tool to involve the community in land and water management at the local and inland catchment levels.

Landcare

encourages land users on a group basis to take responsibilities for local problems by joining together to tackle these issues.

WaterWise on the Farm

Is an education awareness program that assists irrigators to optimise on-farm water use efficiency and maximise yield of irrigated crops and pastures.

It is a time for all of us to think about how we use our most precious natural resource - water!