Saturday, 4 May 2013

Saving money on water

Unlike gas and electricity, the water industry is still regulated in Australia, so you can’t choose your supplier and negotiate better rates.  The $2+ per kilolitre we now pay in Sydney (plus the supply and sewerage charges on top) is starting to seem a bit pricey to me, especially for something that falls free out of the sky.

The best ways to fight back include:
  • Decrease your reliance on mains water
  • Decrease your water usage

Decrease your reliance on mains water

Take advantage of the “free” water available by installing:
  • A water tank – either a simple rainwater tank or a more complex grey water system, where water can be reused, for example, to flush toilets or water the garden.  My neighbour, who is a plumber, has established quite a large and sophisticated-looking grey water system.  Unfortunately, the tank is right outside my bedroom window, and I can hear the pump running with every flush of the toilet at bedtime!
  • Bore water – where I live, the water table is close to the surface, and nearly every house has a bore.  This is an easy way to water the lawn.  However, as the mineral content is quite high (and staining), you can’t use the water to top up the pool or wash the car.  It also takes electricity to run the pump, so you have to trade off the cost of water v. electricity.