Build a Waterwise House

Build a Waterwise House

Build a waterwise house


Choose items on the list for areas of your house, trying to make it waterwise. When you have selected items for each of the areas, check out the answer sheet below to see how well you did.


Dual flush toilet

Single flush toilet


Shower head

Low flow shower

Shower timer

Glass with toothbrush


Top loader washing machine

Front loader washing machine

Full load dishwasher

Half load dishwasher

Hand wash in sink


Big lawn, many exotic plants

Moderate sized lawn with exotic and native plants

Small lawn native plants

Soil wetter



Reticulation on timer

Adjusted reticulation

Bore water

Watering can

Swimming pool or spa

Pool spa cover

Outside maintenance – car washing, general cleaning



Car wash

Blower vac



How well did you go?


3 for Great

2 for OK and

0 for try again.


Item / Result / Menu description / Feedback
Dual flush toilet / Great / A dual flush toilet allows you to choose how much water is used to flush it. / Yes, a dual flush toilet is an excellent water-saving device. It can save up to 75% on toilet water use.
Single flush toilet / Try again / A single flush toilet always uses the same amount of water to flush. / Toilets use nearly a quarter of household water. There is a better option you can choose.
Bath / Try again / An average bath will use over double the amount of water that a shower does. / A bath is great to relax in, but there are better options available.
Shower head / OK / A normal shower uses less water than a bath but still accounts for 36% of household use. / There is a better option if you really want to save water.
Low flow shower / Great / A low flow shower head reduces the flow of water. / Yes, by changing to a low flow showerhead, you can reduce your shower water usage by a quarter.
Shower timer / OK / A shower timer can help make sure you don’t spend too long in the shower. / This is great to help you take shorter showers, but have you checked which shower you are using?
Glass with toothbrush / OK / You can use a cup full of water to brush your teeth. / Yes, a running tap uses 20 litres of water a minute. By using a 250 ml cup instead of running the tap, you can save a massive amount of water.
Item / Result / Menu description / Feedback
Top loader washing machine / Try again / Top loader washing machines use around 27% of household water, but are top loaders the wiser choice? / A top loader generally uses more water than a front loader.
Front loader washing machine / Great / Front loader washing machine it is always a good idea to make sure that you wash with a full load. / Yes, front loader machines are generally more water efficient.
Full load dishwasher / OK / A dishwasher will use different amounts of water depending on the cycle you set it to / There is a better option. However, washing with a full load is better than running a half-empty machine.
Half load dishwasher / Try again / Many busy people prefer to wash as they go without waiting for the dishwasher to fill up. / This is not the best option and only washing half a load is not as efficient as washing with a full one.
Hand wash in sink / Great / A sink full of dishes may be harder work, but does that make it more efficient? / Yes, washing dishes in the sink uses less water than a dishwasher, but remember to rinse the plates in a sink of water, not under a running tap!
Item / Result / Menu description / Feedback
Big lawn, many exotic plants / Try again / Big lawn areas with exotic plants look great, but how much water will they use? / Some exotic plants come from areas where there is a much higher rate of natural rainfall.
Moderate sized lawn with exotic and native plants / OK / A moderate sized lawn area with a mixture of exotic and native plants. / Try again. The inclusion of native plants will mean you need less water, but there may be a better option.
Small lawn native plants / Great / Small lawn area with native or local plants. / Well done! Using plants local to the area means that they will be better suited to levels of water that are naturally available.
Soil wetter / OK / Soil wetter helps moisture reach plant roots. / Yes a wetting agent can help reduce water use, but have you selected the best garden design?
Mulching / OK / Mulching / Yes mulching around plants can drastically reduce evaporation by as much as 70%. Check though that you have selected the best garden design.
Reticulation on timer / Try again / A timer will regulate when your reticulation comes on. / You may need to monitor when your reticulation comes on.
Adjusted reticulation / OK / Manually adjusted reticulation on a regular basis. / Yes, adjusting reticulation can make allowances for seasonal changes and save water.
Item / Result / Menu description / Feedback
Bore water / Great / Installing a bore will mean you use groundwater that has collected from rain and rivers and pooled in storage areas known as aquifers. / Yes, in summer months up to 70% of water goes on the garden. Using bore water will make a huge difference to the amount of water you use.
Watering can / OK / Use a watering can to hand water plants. / Yes, but be careful to hand water plants at the base not on the leaves, where moisture will evaporate.
Swimming pool or Spa / Try again / Swimming pool or a spa / Swimming pools and spas are big water users.
Pool spa cover / Ok / A cover for the pool/ spa. / Yes, a cover for the pool or spa can help reduce evaporation and the amount of water you use.
Outside maintenance
Item / Result / Menu description / Feedback
Bucket / OK / Bucket for car washing. / There is a better way to wash your car, but if you hand wash, make sure you wash it on the lawn and not the driveway so chemicals are kept out of the stormwater drain.
Hose / Try again / Hose for washing car. / Not a good choice. Hoses use loads of water.
Car wash / Great / Car wash using recycled water. / Well done, this is the best option for washing your car.
Item / Result / Menu description / Feedback
Blower vac / Try again / Use a blower vac to clean garden. / A blower vac can lead to blocked drains and gutters.
Hose / Try again / Use a hose to clean outside. / Using a hose will waste water and using a pressure hose may incur you a fine.
Broom / Great / Use a broom to clean. / Yes, a broom is a great way to keep outside areas clean without using water, and allows you to control where the debris ends up.


0–10 Not waterwise enough! Check out some of the water saving advice on the resources page and try again

10–8 Quite good – some good choices but you might be able to do better

18–24 Well done! You are waterwise