Understanding water consumption

Understanding water consumption

The first step in reducing your water use is to find out how, when and why water is being used. By monitoring water use you can find possible leaks and see any unexplained use.

Understand your appliances' flow rates

Finding how many litres per minute your appliances use will help you measure the effectiveness of any changes you make.

Measuring flow rates is easy. Simply fill a jug or bucket for one minute (use a stopwatch) and record how much water you capture.

Keep records of your past water use

Knowing your historical water use enables you to monitor changes. The information you need is on your SA Water account. By checking your use on past bills, you can compare it with current (and even future) accounts. It will give you a clear idea when your high use times of the year happen.

Keep an eye on your water meter readings

Checking your water meter regularly will help you to quickly spot any issues or leaks. It’s a good idea to keep a daily, weekly or monthly graph of your water use.

If you find any rapid changes in your consumption, it’s important to act. If you find a leak, follow it up promptly. An ongoing leak of just five litres per minute can cost you more than $8,700 every year.

Work out your average daily use

By working out your business's average daily water use you'll have a benchmark of what is 'normal'.

If your water use is steady, you can easily work out the average water use per day by dividing the volume used by the number of days.

If your business runs 365 days a year, divide your quarterly water use by 91. (That's the average number of days in three months.)

Once your average daily use is established, you can see any variations which can uncover potential water saving opportunities by revealing leaks, inefficiencies, and overflows.

Tracking seasonal water use  changes

If your business changes seasonally, you are better off tracking water use against units of production. This might include seasonal production changes, and/or growth demands. The unit of production will depend on your business activity.

Benchmarking water use against your industry

Benchmarking allows you to compare your water use to industry averages. We have partnered with other water utilities to create the National Business Water Efficiency Benchmarking website. You can use it for free.