Despite new Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing that fewer Australian households are saving water outdoors, Lower Hunter residents in NSW have been found to use 3,000 litres less per person than they did in 2010.

According to the ABS, only 54% of Australian households took steps to save water in the garden in the last 12 months, compared with 62% in 2010.

Hunter Water’s Water Efficiency Team Leader Martin Conner said a recent study which involved installing a second ‘outdoor only’ meter on 200 properties showed that outdoor water usage is highly subjective to weather but still trending down.

“Back in 2010, an average Lower Hunter household used 23% of its water outdoors. This dropped to 12% 2012 when we had lots of rain, however it has jumped back to around 22% this year due to the especially hot weather.

“The ABS data is a concern, yet the overall reduction in Lower Hunter water use, especially considering our unseasonably hot weather this year shows our customers are bucking the trend.

“With many homes installing water efficient toilets, low flow showerheads and using rainwater for toilet flushing and washing machines, it makes sense that in hot weather outdoor water will account for a higher percentage overall,” he said.

Hunter Water’s top 5 tips for saving water outdoors are:

  1. Always water your garden in the early morning or evening to avoid evaporation.
  2. Spread mulch around your plants to reduce water loss by up to 25%.
  3. Put plants with similar watering needs together in your garden.
  4. Always use a trigger nozzle to control your water when hosing.
  5. Always use a broom rather than a hose to clear your paths.

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