On 10 December 2019, new water restrictions come in for the Illawarra, Sydney and Blue Mountains. We have been talking about ways to save water within the Green Connect team and thought we’d share our best tips.



  • Fix any leaky taps or toilets – you’d be surprised how much water is wasted this way!



  • Use the half-flush only
  • Don’t flush the toilet so much – as they say, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”
  • Put a sealed container (such as a plastic bottle) full of rocks and water in your cistern (toilet tank), away from any moving parts. This means less water per flush but shouldn’t affect the efficiency of your toilet. Note: we haven’t tried this ourselves yet but it makes sense!



  • Take shorter showers. Limit yourself to 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn the taps off while you soap yourself, saving a few litres of water.
  • Bath or shower with a friend or family member if they’re keen
  • Put a bucket in your shower to catch the water otherwise wasted before the water warms up and put this on your garden
  • Install water efficient shower heads
  • Don’t fill the bath up so much – only to the level you really need
  • Use a bucket to scoop out bathwater and use it to water your garden*
  • Let your kids take a bath in the paddling pool and empty that straight on to your garden



  • Brush your teeth with the tap off. Same goes for shaving.
  • Install aerators on your taps or simply turn the tap on only as much as you really need
  • Collect water in a bowl in your bathroom sink and use that to water your garden*


Washing machine

  • Wash your clothes less often (only when they’re dirty or smelly)
  • Wash full loads only and use the most water-efficient wash cycle
  • Catch the run-off from the washing machine in a bucket and use it on your garden*



  • Only run the dishwasher when it is full (and pack it efficiently to make sure it really is full)
  • Be mindful of how many dishes you use and reduce where you can so you fill the dishwasher more slowly



  • Use a bowl to rinse vegetables and dishes rather than leaving the tap running – and throw that water on the garden when you’re done*



  • Only water during the cooler parts of the day (note that under Level 2 Water Restrictions you can only water using a watering can – not a hose – and only before 10am or after 4pm)
  • Use all the tips above to re-use water from your house (called “grey water”) on your garden*
  • Put a layer of mulch around your trees and planets to slow down the evaporation of moisture
  • Wash your car with a bucket, not a hose (note that this is a must-do under Level 2 Water Restrictions)
  • Don’t let your kids play with sprinklers and hoses (again, this is a must-do under Level 2 Water Restrictions) – try a small amount of water in a paddling pool or bucket for water play instead, or an entirely different activity
  • Plant drought-resistant trees and plants, particularly Australian natives
  • Cover your swimming pool to reduce evaporation
  • Longer-term, consider installing a rainwater tank and/or greywater system


*When re-using water on your garden, be mindful of the cleaning or other products that have gone in to the water. This might be a good time to learn more about the chemicals in your soap, shampoo, dishwashing liquid, laundry powder and more. Kylie from the Green Connect team highly recommends The Chemical Maze – she had the book before the app was released she has been using it that long! – to quickly look up food and cosmetic additives and find out how safe or harmful they are for you and the environment.


Like these tips? Are there any we have missed? Let us know! Comment below or email us at [email protected].