Saving Water

Every house, apartment and business in Melbourne is living with 3A water restrictions.


What does it mean?



Select drought tolerant plants where possible. Prior to planting, group plants according to how much water you think they require and concentrate your watering on the areas that really need it.

Many plants are much stronger than you realise and can go for fairly long periods without watering. Try watering your existing plants less frequently than not at all. Observe your plants for signs of stress including wilting and leaf fall.


Leave your lawn long, not less than 2.5 cm. The blades of grass will shade the soil from the sun and protects the roots, encouraging deeper root growth and reduced water requirements.


Tank Water in UseCheck soil moisture by feeling the soil. If it sticks to your finger you don't need to water. Water crystals and soil wetting agents can dramatically improve water absorption in your garden. Turn organic matter into your soil (this can be as simple as using last night's veggie peelings) and mulch you garden every year. Good mulch will provide necessary nutrients as well as keep plant and tree roots warm in the winter and cool in summer.


Dripper irrigation systems distribute water directly to tree and plant roots. Spray heads and risers are not permitted in gardens while 3A restrictions are enforced.

Rainwater tanks

Rainwater tanks can provide a valuable water source for flushing toilets, laundry use, watering gardens and washing cars all year round. Restrictions do not apply to rainwater collected in a tank provided it is not supplemented with tap/drinking water.

Grey water

Grey water is waste water from showers, baths, spas and washing machines. A bucket is the easiest and cheapest way of collecting grey water. Permanent systems can also be used. Grey water must be used within 24 hours of collection; it contains bacteria, so it is very important to use grey water carefully to minimise risk to humans, pets and our environment. Grey water from the kitchen and laundry sink's and dishwasher's water should not be used because it can contain grease and caustic detergents making it less suitable for recycling.

Swimming pools and spas

Installation of pool covers on your pool or spa will reduce water evaporation, keep heating costs down and water cleaner. A new pool or spa cannot be filled with tap/drinking water. They may, however be filled by alternative means such as buying water or use of a bore.

Existing pools and spas with a capacity of less than 2,000 litres can only be topped up using a bucket or watering can. Existing pools with a capacity greater than 2,000 litres that require repairs may only be refilled where a customer can provide both a Water Conservation Plan and a structural report from an independent contractor. In the case of an owner/occupier, an approved building permit from their local council is required.

Please note: ‘Existing' means the pool was set-up permanently and at least 75% full at the time when the prevailing stage of restrictions was declared.


Washing machines

Only use your washing machine for full loads. When buying a new appliance, check the water rating to ensure you are purchasing a water efficient model.


Don't rinse your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Always make sure that your dishwasher is full before you turn it on.


Check your toilet and taps for leaks. A leaking toilet may not be seen or heard but can waste a huge amount of water. To check for leaks, put a little food colouring in the cistern. If the colouring begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, the cistern should be repaired immediately. Replace your single flush toilet with a dual flush toilet and only use the full flush when required.


Reducing your shower time from 7 minutes to 4 minutes and you can save around 12,000 litres per person per year; that's equivalent to 40,000 glasses of water! You can also install a water efficient shower head. Older style shower heads can use between 15 and 20 litres per minute.

Brushing your teeth

When brushing your teeth, keep the tap turned off! Use a glass of water instead to rinse your mouth and tooth brush after brushing.

It is essential that we all ‘do our bit' to conserve water, the alternative is frightening....


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