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What can you do? | City of Melbourne Urban Water

What can you do?

You can help to create a sustainable water system for Melbourne by changing the way you use water at home and work.

Water is becoming scarcer in Australia and around the world due to longer periods without rain. Last year was our driest year on record. We’re also experiencing more intense weather events, so – when it does rain – flooding is more likely. This is a complex challenge and we all need to take action to mitigate and adapt to these impacts.

City of Melbourne is leading the way in integrated water management to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.  We all need to be more water smart – conserving potable water use, capturing and slowing the flow of water runoff, and re-using water where we can.  These water sensitive practices also have flow on benefits, improving water quality in local waterways, reducing flood risk, improving soil health, enhancing greening, providing cooling during extreme heat and supporting biodiversity. 

We have invested $40 million in stormwater harvesting, and capture and reuse around 180,000 kilolitres of water per year.  We use this water to irrigate our parks and gardens, and for non-potable uses in our libraries and other Council facilities, which helps us save precious drinking water.  With your help, we can make an even greater impact.

For more information about our journey to become a water sensitive city explore Urban Water.

To find out how you can actively save water, collect and reuse stormwater and tap into free services that can help, follow the links below.

Easy ways to save water in your home, garden and at work

  1. Be smart in the bathroom

Shave a minute off your shower and don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth. This will set a good example for your family members or housemates too.

  1. Don’t waste the warm-up

While you are waiting for water to warm up, or rinsing vegetables or grains, catch the excess in a container and use it to water plants and top up pet bowls.

  1. Fix that drip

Dripping taps can waste 30 to 200 litres of water per day, so replace washers or other components as required. If you see a leak on common property or in a public place, report it.

  1. Use smart appliances

Choose a front-loading washing machine, which is more water-efficient. Using a cold water cycle can also save you about $115 a year in energy costs.

  1. Wash on a full load

Save water and energy by only running your dishwasher or washing machine with a full load.

  1. Prepare your garden

Use mulch on your garden or pot plants to reduce water evaporation by up to 70 per cent.

  1. Check your tank

Ensure your rainwater tank is properly connected and working. It’s not uncommon for tanks in apartment complexes to be disconnected due to some small issue, so check with your body corporate.

For further information on ways to save water explore:


Calculators & Resources to help you save water

Water Calculator for your home and garden

It estimates metered water consumption for single residential houses based on your answers to questions about water use in and around the home.

Blue House

Take a tour of a water loving home to see how easy it is to save water.

Washing Machine Calculator

There are a number of factors to consider when thinking about a new washing machine. One important consideration is the running cost of the machine over time and its environmental footprint in terms of water and energy consumed.

This calculator will estimate your washing machine’s electricity, gas and water consumption based on your indicated usage.

The WELS product rating system

The National Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme gives consumers information about the water efficiency of products.

Melbourne Water’s Rainwater Tank Fact Sheet

Capturing rainwater to use in your garden is an excellent way to reduce the amount of drinking water you use. Catch rainwater with a bucket or install a rainwater tank.

First, check with your water retailer to determine if a rainwater tank is recommended for your area. Then, read the fact sheet on rainwater tanks to determine which size and style is best for your needs.

Rebates for rainwater tanks are only available if they are connected to the laundry or toilet.

Find out more, including rebates on purchase costs, read more from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)


A free online tool which calculates what size rainwater tank best suits your needs             

Check for water leaks

Take the two minute leak test to investigate water usage at your property.


Free services

Community Rebate Program 

The Community Rebate Program offers rebates to customers in vulnerable and hardship situations to help reduce their water consumption and water bills. This is done by improving the water efficiency of appliances and fixing leaks around the property.  The program is run by each water corporation who sends a qualified plumber to undertake a water audit and retrofit.

Showerhead exchange program

Swap your old shower heads for water efficient ones – for free!

Installing a water efficient showerhead is one of the easiest ways to improve water efficiency in your home and reduce your water and energy bills as well as your environmental impact.

Simply download and complete the form, remove your current showerhead and bring it to the Melbourne Town Hall for a water efficient replacement

City West Water’s Toilet replacement program

Did you know that single and inefficient dual flush toilets are amongst the biggest users of water in the home?

An inefficient, leaking or broken toilet can cost you more money than it needs to.

Take part in our Toilet Replacement Program and choose from three different 4-star WELS-rated dual flush models. With one quick phone call we’ll handle the delivery and installation. You’ll have the best seat of the house in no time.

Find out more about Melbourne’s water supply and ways to conserve it


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This website was delivered in partnership
with the State Government of Victoria
This website was delivered in partnership with the State Government of Victoria