Outdoor water use

Maintaining the garden

  • Choose drought-tolerant plant and lawn species.
  • Use good-quality soil with plenty of organic matter.
  • Replenish organic matter and mulch your garden regularly. Good mulches include wood chips, gravel and stone.
  • Pull out weeds as they compete with your garden plants for moisture and nutrients.
  • Leave your lawn long (2.5cm). This will help to retain moisture in the soil and encourage deeper root growth.


  • Water gardens and lawns in the morning and evening when it is cooler.
  • Only water when you really need to. If rain is forecast, let Mother Nature attend to it for you.
  • Water deeply and less frequently to encourage plants and lawn to grow deeper roots and be more resilient to dry times. Twice a week should be sufficient if you have a well-mulched garden, suitable soil and established plants.
  • Consider other sources of water such as a rainwater tank or your laundry greywater.


  • Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation.
  • Install a shade cloth over the pool to help reduce evaporation.
  • Install a rainwater tank or downpipe diverter to top-up your pool instead of using town water. 
  • Check for leaks around the pool (see below for instructions on how to check your pool for leaks).
  • Plant some bushes around the pool to protect it from wind, which causes evaporation.

Checking your swimming pool for leaks 

Unfortunately, lots of people get caught out with increased water accounts because of pool leaks. Swimming pool leaks are your responsibility. Here are a few tips to help you check your pool for leaks:

  • Check for bubbles in the return lines when the pool pump is running. If there are bubbles, there may be a leak in the suction side of the filtration system. Check to ensure the pump basket lid is on tight and the lid o-ring is lubed and in good condition.
  • If your pool is losing water while the pump is running, check the waste or backwash line for running water. The leak may be on the return-line side of the system.
  • Skimmer leaks are the most common leak in the pool and are caused by a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool. This leak looks like a crack, gap or tear and is easily repaired by pool putty.
  • Check for leaks on the shell of the pool, inserts into the pool walls (e.g. lights), wall interfaces (e.g. tile line) and in the pump and filter equipment.
    Did You Know
  • Conventional showers use an average of 20 litres of water per minute and water efficient showers use an average of 9 litres of water per minute.