Ipswich’s low annual rainfall and hot summers mean residents are using a lot of water. But with water restrictions expected to begin in South East Queensland this summer, Sustainable Ipswich Month’s Getting Smart About Water is the perfect opportunity to learn how to better use our liquid gold.
Hosted by Michael and Victoria from Savour Soil Permaculture, the workshop will explain how you can do more with less and be strategic with this amazing natural resource.
Ahead of their workshop, the experts in the fields of sustainability and environmental design have shared their easiest hacks for using less water around your home.
Firstly, what are common bad water habits?
We’re probably all guilty of these from time to time. They include taking long showers, washing dishes and scrubbing teeth while the water is running, washing with only a half load, leaking pipes and taps, conventional showerheads and toilets.
While these may only be little things, together, they add up to a lot. We need to remember that something leaking at only one drop per second equals the loss of 130L per month, every month.
Whether you live in a unit, house or something more significant, understanding where and how you use your water is essential. It is the choices we make that determine how much we can save, from turning taps off and shorter showers to checking our toilets for leaks, and means we are making every drop count.
What is your favourite everyday smart water hack?
Our favourite water hack is to ask ourselves beforehand, “Do we need to use this?”. And if the answer is “yes”, how can I recycle or reuse it before it leaves the boundaries of our home? Our habits are focused on how best to value this precious resource.
What are your top cost-effective water usage hacks?
Understand the numbers behind the amount of water you use. How many litres of drinking water are flushed down the toilet? Required to do laundry or run the dishwasher? How many litres can be captured from your roof and stored in tanks to use on the garden or be plumbed into toilets, reducing the need for costly water bills?
Once these numbers are understood, setting challenges and making small changes in your household to reduce quarterly bills can save your money while also reducing waste.
“Sustainable Ipswich Month is a way for our community to learn from each other as we progress towards a greener future.
The variety of activities give residents many ways to kick-start their journey or be inspired by new and innovative ideas to reduce waste, reuse materials and help the environment.
This month of sustainable events and workshops is one of the ways we can learn simple and easy ways to make change and promote sustainable living in everyday life, all year round.”
– Environment and Sustainability Chair Councillor Russell Milligan
What are your tips for water use in the bathroom?
Having a bucket in the shower to catch the cold water as the shower heats means we can use it elsewhere, while something as simple as grading our clothes for the amount of dirt on them means we can group them to choose the smarter wash cycle rather than just the standard mode every time.
Toilet hacks are using the half-flush and only flushing number two’s overnight. Oh, and getting the boys to pee on the compost pile instead.
How do you teach kids about saving water?
We found that having the kids do their own water audit means they can best understand the amount of water they use depending on their choices.
After that it is then about teaching them to value the resource, especially to understand it is not infinite, teaching them about rainfall, dams and aquifers so they know how it gets to the tap and then teach them what happens to it after it goes down the drain.
How can you use water smarter in the garden?
Improving the soil is always an excellent option for saving water and the more organic matter in our soils, the more water it can hold. You should also use mulch, compost and drip irrigation instead of watering from above means you can strategically water your plants directly to their root zone.
Getting Smart about Water – Redbank Plains Community Centre
Saturday 13 November
We use water for everything, from drinking and essential maintenance and on our gardens. Join Michael and Victoria from Savour Soil Permaculture as they share how to be smarter about how we use water at home.
Cost: Free – Secure your place here.
For more information and to register for Sustainable Ipswich Month events, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au/sustainability
Sustainable Ipswich Month is delivered through the support of the following partners:
Ipswich Libraries, Council’s Habitat Gardens Program, Ipswich Waste Services, Ipswich Nurseries, Council’s Active Kids Program, and Garage Sale Trail.