News | 17 January 2024
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Simple ways to save water at home

Want to use less wai (water) at your place, and get ready for tighter water restrictions? Get started with these simple household water saving tips.

Cat sitting next to a sink as a person washes dishes.


  • Dishwashers don’t use as much water as you might think, but leaving a high-pressure kitchen tap running can use up to 12 litres per minute.    
  • Skip the pre-rinse - scrape off food into the compost/bin instead.  
  • Handwashing your dishes? Fill your sink rather than washing under a running tap.
Person turning on a washing machine.


  • A washing machine can use more than 120 litres of water per load! Cutting down your use is simple.
  • Only do full loads of laundry. 
  • Be an outfit repeater! Got an outfit with no visible stains? If it passes the sniff test, hang it up and wear it again later in the week.  
  • If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, front-loaders can use significantly less water.  
A tidy vegetable patch in a raised garden bed.

Garden and Outdoors

Hand watering 

  • Add mulch (old leaves or grass clippings after mowing) to your garden. This helps stop wind and sun drying out the soil, cutting evaporation by up to 70% and puts nutrients back in the soil. 
  • The middle of the day is when the sun is hottest – and evaporation happens fast. Water in the early morning or evening, so your garden gets the maximum benefit.   
  • In dry weather, check your garden every 4-7 days. If your soil is moist 10cm below the surface, don’t worry about watering. Water close to the ground at a rate the soil can absorb. Slow watering and not over-watering your garden is important.  

Sprinklers & irrigation:  

  • IN: Deep soakings once or twice a week. OUT: Frequent light water sprinklings. Deep soakings encourage feeder roots to grow and help your plants survive short term drought conditions. 
  • Use drippers or directional sprinkler heads. These make sure water is going where you want it, not wasted on your paths or fences. 
Person brushing their teeth.



  • One minute in the shower can use up to 18 litres of water. Keep it quick in the shower (about as long as a song) and make every minute count, with an efficient shower head. Find them at your local hardware store. 
  • Brushing your teeth? Turn off the tap! A bathroom tap uses around 6 litres of water per minute.


  • Stick to the half-flush and save the full flush for when you really, really need it.  
  • If your whānau or flatmates don’t mind, ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow’. 
  • Ignoring that slow drip in the loo? It could be using up to 28 litres of wai per day – get it checked out by a plumber.  Not sure if there’s a leak? Put a few drops of food colouring in the cistern. If the colouring appears in the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak (you may need to wait an hour or two for the food colouring to leak into the bowl). 

Find out more about water restrictions on the Wellington Water website.