Reducing Household Water Consumption


  • Start by checking the flow rate of your shower. If a 10 litre bucket placed under your running shower fills in less than a minute consider installing a flow-restrictor on your shower head. These are easy to install and available free at the Waiheke Resources Centre.
  • Have a shower instead of bath. A bath uses up to three times the water of a shower.

In your garden

  • Water gardens in the early morning or late evening to minimise water evaporation.
  • Mulch around plants – this helps to minimize evaporation, helps the soil retain water and inhibits weed growth.
  • Plant more natives in your garden, they need less water.
  • Consider buying a barrel for collecting rain water to use in the garden.
  • Use a watering can instead of a sprinkler or hose.


  • Make sure every load of washing is a full one and use the minimum amount of rinses. If you don’t have a full load, adjust the water level to suit the size of your wash load.
  • Save grey water from rinses and use it to water the garden.


  • Run a small sink of water to wash fruit & veges and rinse dishes in rather than keeping the water running.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
  • Check the water efficiency rating of your dishwasher. Unless it is very efficient it will use more water than washing dishes in the sink.
  • Install an aerator on your kitchen tap. These will not affect water pressure but will cut water usage by up to 50%. The Waiheke Resources Centre has water aerators for $5 each for Waiheke homes.


  • On average each person flushes the toilet five times per day. Different toilets use different amounts of water in a flush – old single-flush models use up to 11 litres, while more recent dual-flush models use around 5.5 litres for a half flush and 11 litres for a full flush. Use the smallest flush possible to get the job done and if you can avoid it don’t flush at all!
  • Install a gizmo in your toilet. Gizmo’s work by stopping your toilet from flushing the moment you take your finger off the button. In a three person household, gizmo’s could save up to 20,000 litres of water per year. Gizmo’s work best on single-flush toilets and take less than a minute to install. The Waiheke Resources Trust has free gizmo’s for Waiheke households.
  • If you don’t have a single-flush toilet, fill a plastic bottle with water and place in your cistern. This can save thousands of litres of water per year by cutting down the space to be refilled and therefore flushed. 
  • Consider a Waterless Composting Toilet