We all love water, but we also need to take care of our water, to help us enjoy it all year round.
Love Every Drop is all about doing both - letting you know the ways, times and places where your actions can make the most difference - as well as enjoying and celebrating water!
How it works
We're a community of water lovers, and want to share with you how we love and look after our water, and hear from you about how you love our water.
To become a part of the community of water loving Wellingtonians 'like' Wellington Water on Facebook - and you’ll get our regular updates and water saving tips.
We're also giving away a bunch of cool prizes to all of our Water Lovers out there!
We have free pool passes, hydroslide vouchers, a water storage tank and some surfing lessons ready for folks who like and follow us. We’ll also have gloriously random giveaways over the summer so sign up and join us in celebrating our water and loving every drop all summer long!!
Wellington Water Meter
Welcome to the Watch Every Drop Water Meter. This is how we’ll let you know what’s going on with water supply during the summer months.
This will be updated according to water supply around the region and you can check in at anytime if you’re unsure about your water activities.
There are garden watering restrictions around the region (Wellington, Porirua, and Lower Hutt) during daylight saving months (and all year round in Upper Hutt). These restrictions allow for the use of:
- A single watering system (sprinkler, irrigation system, soaker hose, or unattended hose) between 6-8am and 7-9pm.
- On allocated watering days:
- Even-numbered houses on even dates of the month (2nd, 4th, 16th etc.)
- Odd-numbered houses on odd dates of the month (1st, 3rd, 11th etc.)
For more information click here.
Love Every Drop
Every season poses it's own issues when it comes to water use, wastage, and infrastructure.
We had a hot summer over 2017/18, and demand for water was going up when supply was going down. As a result we were using the water in our storage lakes earlier than usual, and the region introduced a sprinkler ban.
Our community of water lovers were up to the challenge though, and the region made significant efforts to reduce their water use, and report wastage (through leak detection) — good work Wellington!
We're expecting another hot summer, so it's important to continue to conserve water.
Find out where your water comes from, and why it's important to Love Every Drop all year round.
From the views at the top of Mount Victoria, getting your water directly from the artisan Waiwhetu Aquifer, to taking a stroll along the Wellington Waterfront Walkway, water is never far from a Wellingtonians experience of the region.
Over the coming weeks, as we move into the hotter and drier season, we’ll be profiling Wellingtonians all over the region that love and appreciate our precious and essential resource. From the exotic wilderness of the Zoo in Newtown to the Splash Pad in Porirua we will be asking everyday Wellingtonians and businesses about what they are up to with Wellington water, their tips on responsible water use, and why they love it so much.
Hear New Zealand Junior Rowing representative Ruby Willis speak about her thoughts around water.
Meet Richard and Red who made their own sustainable water pond using rainwater to learn more about its benefits and to make their backyard look really cool.
Our water lovers have also provided their top water saving tips, which you can easily follow at home.
Water conservation - outdoors
As we get into those beautiful summer months we want to help encourage Wellingtonians to be aware and responsible about the water that they use and help conserve water to avoid water restrictions.
Whether you’re tidying-up around your section, cleaning the car or watering the garden, there are loads of easy ways to use a bit less water.
Washing and cleaning jobs
Put off outdoor cleaning jobs such as house and window washing or water-blasting until the autumn (or get them done before the end of October).
Control your hose with a trigger:
- A trigger device lets you stop and start the water flow from your hose instantly.
- You can direct water where you need it without wasting a drop.
- Turn the tap off when you've finished, otherwise the hose may spring a leak.
- If you want to clean paths, please use a broom.
Use a bucket of soapy water and a sponge to clean your car:
- A running hose delivers about 10-15 litres per minute, so even a few minutes of unnecessary hose use - or leaving it running into the gutter - can waste a lot of water.
- Always wash your car on the lawn, so the soapy water is absorbed by the grass instead of running down the street drain and into our streams and harbours.
- Better still, use a commercial car wash that recycles its water.
Sweep hard surfaces, rather than hosing them clean:
- A broom and dustpan will get paths and driveways clean enough without wasting litres of water to chase a few twigs and leaves away.
Fix dripping taps:
- One drip per second from a leaking tap can add up to around 28 litres a day - which adds up to 2,500 litres every 3 months, enough to fill a skip!
- There are videos online on how to fix a leaking tap or toilet, but if you're in any doubt about what to do, call a plumber.
In the garden
Seasoned gardeners know that the secret to a healthy summer garden has more to do with preparation and how effectively you use water, rather than how much you use. By following these tips from experienced gardeners, your plants and lawn areas will be green, strong and healthy and you'll probably save water too.
Use mulch to retain moisture:
- Mulch can cut evaporation by up to 70% by protecting your soil from the drying effects of wind and sun.
- Grass clippings, compost, wood chips, shredded paper, peat or straw can all make good mulch.
- Make sure soil is moist before mulching and leave a space of a few centimetres around trunks and stems to prevent the development of fungal diseases.
Read our helpful factsheet about mulch.
- Weeds compete for available moisture.
- Mulching helps to keep weeds out.
Condition your soil to hold water:
- Wetting agents and water storing polymers dramatically improve moisture penetration and retention in soils.
- These treatments need only be applied once a season.
- Use liquid fertilisers to promote plant growth without raising salt levels in the soil.
Know your plants:
- Perennials and vegetables need extra water in dry periods throughout the growing season.
- Most other plants (e.g. trees, shrubs, and climbers) need little or no extra water once they are established.
- There are many attractive plant varieties well suited to dry summer weather; see Greater Wellington's Regional Native Plant Guide or ask your local nursery or garden centre for advice.
Plant in groups:
- By grouping the plants in your garden into high or low water users, you can design a watering pattern that is better for your plants and will reduce waste of water.
- Leaving 25 - 30mm of leaf will provide shade to the roots and soil, slowing water loss and protecting your lawn from sunburn.
- Leave clippings on the lawn as mulch, to help conserve soil moisture and put nutrients back into the soil.
Test soil moisture before watering:
- If your soil is moist 10 centimetres below the surface, you don't need to water.
- Check every 4-7 days in dry weather and water only if needed.
Target - aim low and slow:
- Water close to the ground at a rate the soil can absorb.
- Plants take up moisture through their feeder roots and low, slow watering is the best way to get it there. Watering by hand.
- Moveable sprinklers are the least effective for saving water.
Water when it's cool and calm:
- Wind and sun can quickly steal water meant for your garden, through evaporation.
- Only water on calmer days, in the cool of the early morning or evening, so that the benefit of your watering last longer.
Soak, don't sprinkle:
- Less frequent deep soakings (once or twice a week) encourage feeder roots to grow deeply in search of water.
- This will help your plants to survive short term drought conditions.
- Frequent light sprinklings of water encourage shallow roots that are more vulnerable in dry weather.
- Use drippers or directional sprinkler heads with irrigation so your garden is watered, rather than your paths, fences etc.
Read our helpful factsheet about how to water you garden.
Catch it if you can!
- A small moat dug around the base of a tree or shrub will give the water a chance to soak in rather than running off.
Don't over water:
- Over-watering encourages fungus, root rot, rusts, mildew and black-spot.
Water conservation - indoors
From brushing teeth to buying new appliances, there are many ways to use a bit (or a lot) less water “indoors” while getting the job done well.
Easy saving tips
Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, and run it at a low flow rate when on. This simple act will save litres of water every time you brush. Taps use around 6 litres of water a minute, so leaving the tap running for just 2 minutes a day adds up to 168 litres a fortnight - enough to fill 3 rubbish bags!
Use full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine whenever possible.
Put the plug in the sink when shaving or washing hands, dishes or vegetables, and run just enough water for what you're doing – try less-than half a sinkful for shaving or hand-washing.
Take shorter showers, shaving a minute from your daily shower can save up to 18 litres. Most mains-pressure showers use 9 to 18 litres of water every minute, so more than five minutes in the shower could be using more water than you'd need for a bath. If you want to soak, a partially filled bath uses less water than long showers. That extra minute in your daily shower can add up to 252L a fortnight - enough to fill a wheeli bin!
Don't pre-rinse dishes before they go in the dishwasher
Fill sinks and basins less full than usual
Recycle bath water on the garden - but only on plants that are not going to be eaten (i.e don't put greywater on your vegetable garden). Also, use your greywater immediately, don't store it. Storing greywater can cause disease causing organisms to increase, especially during hot weather.
Save the cold water to reuse when waiting for running water to warm up in the kitchen or bathroom
Check for and fix leaks A leaking toilet may not be obvious, but it can waste thousands of litres of water in a year. Even a slow drip from a tap – one drop every few seconds – could add up to around 28 litres every day. Over three months this can up to 2,500 litres - enough to fill a skip!
Test your toilet cistern for leaks by putting a few drops of food colouring in the cistern. If the food colouring appears in the toilet bowl before the toilet is flushed, you have a leak. (Tip: you may need to wait an hour or two for the food colouring to leak into the bowl). There are videos online on how to fix a leaking tap or toilet, but if you’re in any doubt about what to do, call a plumber.
Save water with single-flush toilets If you have a single-flush toilet cistern, try placing a one (or two) litre plastic bottle – filled with water and with the top on – in your cistern to reduce the amount of water needed for each flush. An average-sized household, could save 25 litres per day (two and a half buckets full) without reducing flush-effectiveness. Make sure that the bottle doesn't interfere with the flush mechanism. If flush-effectiveness is compromised, simply remove the bottle and try a smaller one. People have also used a brick in their single-flush toilet cistern to reduce the flow. Be aware that a brick could break and cause a blockage in the pipes.
Install dual-flush toilets If renovating your bathroom, install a 4.5 litre/3 litre or a 6 litre/3 litre dual-flush system. This allows you to use only as much water as needed. A dual-flush control device will save significant amounts of water on most types of toilet cistern.
Don't use your toilet as a rubbish bin. Flushing tissues, cigarette butts or left-over food down the toilet uses up to 11 litres per flush.
Buy water efficient
Choose a “feel-good” shower when upgrading, to save you $$$ on water heating. Check out Consumer's test panel findings for mains-pressure showers that felt good to use while saving four litres of water or more for every minute of use.
Install a shower flow-saver to your existing shower Many showerheads with mains-pressure water systems put out 12-18 litres per minute, when 9 litres per minute is plenty for a comfortable shower. Major hardware or plumbing shops stock flow-saver discs, which are easy to install and cost only a few dollars, to reduce the flow of water and reduces your heating bill.
Look for water-efficiency “star” rating stickers on new appliances, bathroom fittings and tap-ware when buying. The more WELS blue stars showing on the label, the more water-efficient an appliance, shower, toilet or tap is. There can be large differences in water use between products. For example, a water-efficient clothes washer can save around 80 litres of water per day – or eight full buckets – for an average household. A highly water-efficient toilet cistern and pan combination can save about 100 litres per day for an average household replacing a 12-litre single-flush toilet.
How much is your shower costing you?
Upper Hutt City Council and EECA have developed a calculator to estimate how much your shower is costing you.