Sprinkler on turf

While you might be a wonderful water saver at home, you may leave some of these water efficient behaviours behind once you enter your workplace door. Water conservation at work is just as important as being resource aware at home. 

Water usage can be easily reduced by following the tips below.

  • Install water efficient taps - level or mixer taps let you find the right water temperature quickly and taps with an aerator or flow restrictor use less water.
  • Fix leaking taps and replace washers.
  • Avoid washing up or cleaning food under running taps.
  • Keep in mind that water efficient dishwashers often use less water than washing up in a sink.
  • Invest in water efficient dishwashers.
  • Only run the dishwasher when the load is full.
  • Scrape food off the plates and put in the dishwasher. There's no need to rinse the plates with water first.
  • Install dual-flush toilets.
  • Check for leaks regularly and fix immediately if found.
  • Where possible use fans and windows.
  • Don't run the heating or cooling after hours.
  • Encourage all users to limit shower length to 4 minutes or less.
  • Install water efficient shower heads.
  • Check for leaks and if leaks are found, fix immediately.
  • Use plants that require little water to thrive. A list of plants can be found here.
  • Adjust sprinklers so they are not spraying water on paved surfaces.
  • Use mulch to prevent water loss through evaporation.
  • Water at dawn or as early as possible to reduce evaporation.
  • Apply the minimum amount of fertiliser needed to reduce watering demands. Apply fertiliser during the spring and summer months when there is higher rainfall and your lawn is actively growing. Use small amounts of an organic fertiliser as this will require far less water post-application than a chemical fertiliser.
  • Manual method of watering (hose and sprinkler or by hand) generally use less water than automatic irrigation systems. These methods also allow you to direct the water exactly where you want it.
  • Drip irrigation reduces evaporation. Existing spray irrigation systems can be converted to drip systems easily and cheaply by changing the spray heads to drip runners.
  • Improve your soil. Soils with high water-holding capacity, effective drainage and infiltration need less frequent watering. All soil types improve with the addition of organic matter.
  • A less-than-lush lawn is acceptable when being responsible with water. Just because grass is brown, doesn’t mean it’s dead – it’s just dormant. Dormant grass only needs water every three weeks. When the rain comes, it will turn green quickly.
  • Reduce the lawn area with attractive water conservative plant options and ground covers e.g. pebbles.
  • Install rainwater tanks.
  • Use a broom to clean outdoor areas rather than water.
  • Promote water saving programs and smart water use
  • Encourage staff to suggest new water saving ideas
  • Establish a baseline for water use and a target to achieve
  • Discuss water efficiency during team meetings
  • Show water use statistics for the workplace in the staff room or kitchen
  • Display water efficiency posters in the staff room or ktichen
  • Send water saving ideas and progress reports to staff in newsletters, emails and bulletins
  • Include water efficiency policies and procedures in staff induction and training programs
  • Choose particular staff to be 'water champions'. These staff can help with the promotion of water saving ideas, monitor water use and ensure water leaks are found and fixed quickly
  • Give recognition to staff who are careful water users and / or initiate water efficiency practices.

Educate staff and inform policy by:

  • Displaying water usage and saving charts in the staff room or kitchen
  • Make water usage updates a standing agenda item in meetings
  • Display posters in the staff room and kitchen
  • Send water saving ideas and progress reports to staff in newsletters, emails and bulletins
  • Include water efficiency policies and procedures in staff induction and training programs
  • Establish an ideas box to share water saving ideas across your workplace.

You can also audit your workplace

See where savings can be made. Look around and check if the following devices and management processes are water efficient:

  • Taps and hose-fittings
  • Dishwashers and washing machines
  • Toilets and showers 
  • Air-conditioning
  • Watering of gardens and lawns
  • Recycling of materials.