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Resource Responsibility – Water Wise

Contrary to the popular belief that New Zealand does not have a water shortage problem, there have been times when areas throughout the country have been begging for rain for months until the droughts finally broke. Dams, rivers and tanks were low, pastures were brown and dusty, and fire risks were up … areas of NZ were starting to look like Australia!

“So what,” you say, “Water still comes out of my taps, so I don’t need to conserve.”

Well, there’s no such thing as a free lunch … or free water either. Increased demand and less reliable supply means that more councils will start charging for water, and those who already pay will have to pay more.

Manna from heaven

What can you do to save water costs and reduce reliance on town supply? Make the most of a free resource – rainwater.

Rainwater tanks and complementary components can provide a number of benefits to both you and the community. Marley® makes a downpipe diverter that allows the collection of fresh rainwater for garden watering, car washing and any other non-potable water use. For drinking purposes, Marley® Rain Harvesting kits ensure the safest possible drinking water. Before installing a rainwater harvesting system for potable water, check whether your council requires you to apply for a building consent.

Greywater is water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs and washing machines. Greywater can be recycled for use in flushing toilets or garden irrigation. Before installing a greywater system you need to check with your local council to make sure it complies with their requirements.

Hot news

Unless you like cold water, you’ll spend about 1/3 of your energy bill on water heating.

If you are building or installing new plumbing, one of the ways you can reduce this portion of your energy bill is to use thermally efficient plumbing such as Fusiotherm®. Fusiotherm® is made from polypropylene, which is a natural insulator. It will ensure your hot water stays hot as it travels from your water heater to your taps and shower.

Polypropylene is also extremely safe and healthy to use, as unlike other plastics it will not leach any chemicals or heavy metals into the water supply.

Thrifty changes

You can save money anywhere you use water, if you put your mind to it.

Only use the dishwasher or washing machine when full, use or install dual flush toilets, don’t leave a tap running while brushing teeth or preparing food ingredients for cooking, use the shower instead of the bath…the list goes on.

Approximately 1/2 of the hot water you use is in the shower, so you can make the most impact on your water and energy costs there.

Change a 20 litre per minute shower to a low-flow, 9 litre per minute model and you will save over 50% of the cost of that shower. If you currently have a high-flow shower, for a relatively low investment you could install a low-flow model and stop your money from going down the shower drain.

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Find out what you can do to be Resource Responsibility savvy in the articles linked below.

Resources

Resource Responsibility – Water Wise
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FPB - Future Proof Building Principals
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