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As we have indicated in the previous section, all appliances are not created equal in terms of water use so if you are serious about sustainability you should compare the water use of appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines carefully.

Another way to reduce your water use is to install a rainwater tank on your property. If you have access to a town water supply, the Ministry of Health recommends that you use this for drinking and food preparation. However, you may like to have a rainwater tank to provide water for your garden, washing clothes and flushing the toilet. While your home may not yet be on a metered water supply, this may change in the future so having a separate rainwater supply could save you money down the track. Other bonuses are that you will have an independent supply in the case of emergencies such as earthquakes when public water supplies may not available for many days.

Greywater (such as the wastewater from showers and clothes washing) can be collected and used for garden irrigation. It is important that greywater systems are installed by a licensed plumber as they need backflow prevention devices to ensure that potable (drinking) water does not become contaminated.