Melburnians are using too much water

Melbourne's four water companies want everyone to reduce water consumption by four litres a day.
Melbourne's four water companies want everyone to reduce water consumption by four litres a day.

Melburnians don't know how much water they are using - but it's too much.

However, if each person could reduce their consumption by four litres a day it will likely help protect Victoria from future shortages, suppliers say.

A recent survey conducted by Melbourne's water corporations found most Melburnians admit they don't know the recommended water usage or what they are using themselves.

Water restrictions are not currently in place across Melbourne, but that hasn't always been the case.

Permanent water-saving rules were introduced by the state government in 2011, after six years of restrictions, and target individual water usage to be no higher than 155 litres a day.

The current average usage is 159 litres a day, four litres higher than recommended.

With Melbourne's population forecast to almost double by 2051 and the changing environment affecting water storages over the next 30 years, the pressure is on to help secure water supplies.

Belinda Shone, from Forest Hill in Melbourne's east, came up with a way to pump her bath water over her roof and into her garden.

"Mum was from the country, in the Wimmera region, so for her every drop was precious and that's how we were brought up," Ms Shone told AAP.

During the 2004 drought, she bought a long plastic tube with a hand pump in the middle from her local hardware store and away she went.

Cass Biaddacz, from Lilydale in Victoria's Yarra Valley region, said she saves water by giving her dog Kola chilled water used to steam or boil vegetables.

She said Melbourne's recent lockdowns were the catalyst for her water saving as she focused on her families energy and water consumption.

"There are two adults and two kids in our house, plus two cats and a dog so I had the time to look at everything and it's worked out great," she said.

Melbourne's water corporations, Greater Western Water, Melbourne Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water, have launched their Make Every Drop Count campaign in an effort to remind Melburnians to think about their water consumption.

"We know Melburnians want to conserve water for future generations and will no doubt rise to the four-litre daily saving challenge," Yarra Valley Water managing director Pat McCafferty said.

"We can't wait to see and share the creative mindful water-usage tips that will collectively make a huge difference."

Melburnians are invited to share their water-saving tips on social media using the hashtag

#MakeEveryDropCount or they can submit their tips directly through the Make Every Drop Count website.

Everyone who submits a tip has the chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize valued at $2000.

Simple ways to reduce your water usage:

* Reducing showers by a minute

* Brushing teeth with the tap off

* Scraping plates instead of rinsing them

* Using an air-blower or broom to sweep the driveway instead of the hose.

SOURCE: Melbourne Water

Australian Associated Press