Home life


Got my water bill the other day, and along with it was a little card about average water usage. I can’t be bothered re-keying it, so I’ll scan. This is the average number of litres per day, used by households of different sizes (people) and with/without gardens.

South East Water - water table, average household use

Me? I’m sitting on 347 litres per day, with of course a big garden and 1-3 people in the house, depending on the day of the week. Do I really need to work out an average? Oh okay. Umm. Let’s see. Add them up. Carry the two. Okay. Average house occupancy over a week is 1.9.

That makes me above the figure for 2 people with no garden, but well below the figure for 2 people with a garden. I don’t actually water my garden very much (hasn’t needed it recently, and when it does I use recycled bath water).

My washing machine probably gets more of a workout than the typical DINK household. My toilet isn’t dual flush (another thing I’d fix if I owned the place). Could cut down on my shower time, too.

So room for improvement.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “Water”

In an hold house, we had a toilet that only had a single button, so no half flushes there. I remember my Mum put something in the bit at the top where the water is stored. This filled it a little more and then less water was used. Not that you want to go playing in your landlord’s loo, but it might be a small way of saving a little water.

good on you for reusing the bath water. I usually collect the last rinse from the washing machine in buckets and use that in the garden.

In a house with 3 adult occupants, according to our last bill and a similar chart that came with it, we use use the amount of water that a house of 6 adults would use … Oh. my. goodness! What a rude shock! For the record, we have a pool, which requires the filter to be washed out frequently etc, etc. Also, one of my housemates who, I’m sure, thought he was a water-saver but wasn’t really (case in point is my observation of how much water he used unnecessarily when washing out pool filter) has just moved out, and a very green new housemate is about to move in. New housemate has already asked if there is a brick or old cordial bottle filled with water in the cistern. Still, how bad do I feel about the water usage in our house? Time to get a timer for in the shower me thinks!

My entire block of flats runs of the one meter, so not only do we have no idea what our personal impact is, we can’t measure what effect our changes have. It’s a different kettle of fish in the new place.

I’m SO excited by this post! The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) did a study with results released in May ’04 ‘Pricing for Water Conservation’, using Sydney and Melbourne as the research group. One of their key findings was that people just don’t know what they use comparatively, they thought they had average water use but were in fact high (as some of your dear fans have expressed!). I congratulate your water company on reacting to these findings so promptly! Good outcomes for everyone! Let’s hope the idea spreads :O)

Oh, not so good. 388 per day, two adults, no garden. Moslty do full loads of washing, don’t use the dishwasher until it is full, don’t have long showers, both lavs have half flush. Really don’t know how we could use less comfortably.

more to the point, how does the water company work out these averages? How do they know the number of residents? Are they reaching through the bathroom windows each morning of a statistically determined sample of the customer base to count the number of wet towels?

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