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The current water shortage may continue to worsen as the weather forecast does not predict any rain in the near future. This summer has been one of the driest on record and there is a need to go above and beyond normal efforts to conserve water. Here's some tips that could potentially create an impact on your water consumption.

Of course, there are the obvious actions you can take such as taking shorter showers and not leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth. However, there are some water saving tips that you may not be aware of which can make a real impact on your consumption.

Reduce your toilet cistern
Put 8 - 10cm of sand or pebbles in the bottom of a plastic one litre water bottle to weigh it down. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and put it in your toilet cistern, safely away from the operating mechanism. This hack will mean less water to fill your toilet saving upwards of 20 litres of water a day without harming your toilet.
Helping your plants
You don’t want all of your plants to perish especially if you are trying to sell your home. In lieu of the hose try putting ice cubes in your garden. This will water your plants more slowly over time and prevent the soil from drying out. Also, buy a few cheap beach umbrellas to stick in garden beds for part of the day to provide plants a reprieve from the heat especially during the hottest hours. Pro tip - a layer of mulch slows the evaporation of moisture.
Check taps and pipes for leaks
Even a small drip can waste 200 or more litres of water a day so it is critical to do a quick check for leaks. A cheap and simple swap out of a washer on a tap can eliminate a constant drip. To check your toilet for leaks place a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired as soon as possible. 
Use your dishwasher versus hand washing
It may seem counterintuitive, but it turns out washing dishes by hand uses a lot more water than running the dishwasher - even more so if you have a water-conserving model. Did you know that a “smart” dishwasher uses half as much water, saving close to 20,000 litres each year? Remember,  it's most efficient when you’ve got a full load. If you are handwashing don’t run the water the entire time.
Stop using your insinkerator
In-sink disposals require heaps of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste or throw scraps in the rubbish.
Get a little exercise while tidying outside
Use a broom, or leaf blower and not your hose to clean driveways, and footpaths. This saves water and burns calories. 
Re-consider washing the car 
While it can be annoying to have a dirty vehicle, now is the time to consider leaving it unwashed until the shortage ends. Washing your car in the driveway can use up to 375 litres of water.
Protecting your pool or spa
Get yourself a pool cover if you don’t have one already. The average pool can lose a jaw-dropping 75,000 litres a year to evaporation.

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