Help us to keep water flowing...

How much water do you use?

This chart shows the amount of water typically used for different household activities.

Activity

Water Used

Buckets

Bath

50 to 120 litres (half full)

5 - 12

Shower (8 minutes)

70 to 160 litres

7-16

Front-loading washing machine

23 litres per kg of dry clothing

4 - 5

Leaking tap

200 litres per day

20

Hand-watering by hose

600 to 900 litres per hour

60 - 90

Garden sprinkler

Up to 1500 litres per hour

150

Car wash with hose

100 to 300 litres

10 - 30

Filling swimming pool

20,000 to 50,000 litres

2,000 - 5,000

Tips for managing your water use

  • Water your garden and lawn every few days rather than every day. Wetting the soil surface every day encourages roots to develop at the surface, making them more vulnerable to hot dry spells
  • Water for shorter periods. For example, setting your system to run for three 5-minute intervals over a couple of hours lets the soil absorb more water than watering for 15 minutes continuously
  • Using watering cans or watering plants by hose uses less water than a sprinkler
  • Don’t send water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not the driveway, footpath, or buildings
  • Use mulch or cover the soil with organic matter to keep the soil moist. Mulches protect plant roots from the drying effects of sun and wind and reduce weeds
  • Check you have the right sprinkler head. It should apply water gently so it seeps into the soil. Some sprinklers apply more water than the soil can absorb
  • When planting new additions to your garden choose drought-resistant plants that don’t require a lot of water
  • Inspect hoses and taps indoors and outdoors to check for leaks which waste water.
  • More tips on SMART watering at www.smartirrigation.co.nz/smart-watering/ or WateringSMART on Facebook

Water is a precious resource and we need to use it wisely. Read our waterwise guide [PDF, 725 KB] to find out more about household water use and what you can do to reduce your water consumption.