Water Saving Strategies - Kitchen and Cooking

The kitchen uses a large amount of water in your home, approximately 10% of all water used by a household is for cooking, cleaning, washing dishes or drinking.  Some ideas to help reduce water use in the kitchen are: 


  • Avoid wasting drinking water by running it from a tap until it cools.  Collect it in a bottle or jug and store it in the fridge until it is cool enough to drink.
  • Garbage disposal units use about 6 litres of water a day, put suitable food scraps into a composter or worm farm rather than down the sink.  Your garden and the sewer system will thank you.
  • When you clean your fish tank, use the existing water in the fish tank  to treat garden or potted plants.  Tipping the old nitrogen and phosphorous rich water onto your garden will improve the health of your plants.
  • When boiling vegetables, use just enough water to cover them and keep the lid on the pan.  Vegetables will boil quicker saving power and retain more vitamins in the food.  Use the cooled vitamin rich water for pets, garden or potted plants.


  • The dishwasher is the highest consumer of water in the kitchen; making sure your dishwasher is a water efficient model not only saves water but also energy.  Remember to check the water efficiency rating: the more stars the more efficient the product.
  • Only use the dishwasher when you have a full load.  If you only use a small number of dishes, look for a dishwasher with dual draws or smaller capacity.
  • Use a rinse-hold setting on the dishwasher, if it has one, rather than rinsing dishes under a running tap.


  • Don’t rinse washed dishes under a running tap.  If you have two sinks, fill the second sink with rinsing water.  If you have one sink, stack washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse with a pan of hot water.
  • Use washing up liquid sparingly as this reduces the amount of rinsing needed when washing dishes by hand.
  • When rinsing dishes use a plugged sink or pan of water, saving running the tap continuously.
  • Flow controlled aerators for taps are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%.
  • Don’t use running water to defrost frozen food, place food in the fridge to defrost overnight.
  • When cleaning, peeling or preparing fruits and vegetables, wash them in a partially filled sink and then rinse off quickly under the tap, where needed.


A running tap wastes about 6 litres of water a minute, remembering to turn the taps off and fixing any leaks can save valuable water.  Here are some quick and easy tips to help save water when using your taps:

  • If you have a dripping tap consider getting it fixed, it can waste upto 20,000 litres of water a year.