Meet the family saving thousands of litres of water a year - one drop at a time

Media release

22 October

To mark National Water Week, Sydney Water has teamed up with the city’s most water wise family, the Charlesworths, to share their tips for saving thousands of litres of water a year.

Each day, Sydneysiders use around 1.5 billion litres of water, which is enough to fill 600 olympic sized swimming pools.

The Charlesworth family from Campbelltown has halved their household water usage, saving around 350,000 litres and $280 on their bill over the past year.

The family of five were inspired by their charity work and started implementing small measures to save water every day. Since then, all members of the family have adopted new daily behaviours; from reusing the bath water and using egg timers in the shower to only using the washing machine when it’s full.

“We made some really simple changes in our lives to be more water wise and it’s made a huge difference,” Emma Charlesworth says. “Not only are we saving water but we’re also saving on our water bills. It’s easy to forget how valuable water is because we can access it anytime, anywhere in Sydney.”

As we approach the hotter months, it is increasingly important to use water wisely on a day-to-day basis.

Catherine Port, Executive Drought Lead from Sydney Water said: “there are easy steps Sydneysiders can take to save water in their bathroom, kitchen and laundry and outdoors as well.

“We are encouraging everyone to make a few simple changes to save water this Water Week - and to then keep these changes going. Water is a valuable resource and it shouldn’t be wasted.

“All Sydneysiders can play a part in being water efficient. If all 5 million Sydneysiders make small changes like the Charlesworth family, we can create a significant overall water saving together”, said Ms Port.

To help Sydneysiders start saving, Sydney Water and the Charlesworth family have shared some easy tips to try at home.

Sydney Water + Charlesworth family top tips

1. Time your showers to a four minute song (e. Just Dance - Lady Gaga, Your Song - Elton John). Reducing your shower time by one minute can save around nine litres of water every shower.
2. Fix leaking taps as soon as possible. It's an easy way to use less water. One leaking tap can waste up to 2,000 litres a month and is something most DIY people can do.
3. Wait until your dishwasher or washing machine is fully loaded before you turn it on.
4. Wash your vegetables and rinse dishes in a plugged sink or basin – not under a running tap.
5. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or shave.
6. When waiting for the kitchen tap to warm up or cool down, run the water into the kettle, rather than letting it go down the sink.

For outside water savings:

1. Water your garden before 10 am and after 4 pm to avoid the heat of the day and to minimise evaporation.
2. Use a broom or rake rather than a hose to clean your driveways and hard surfaces.
3. Raise the blades setting on your lawn mower. This will mean your grass is kept a little longer and will make it more resistant to the hot weather.
4. Apply 7 - 10 cm of mulch around your plants to help save water lost through evaporation.
5. Wash your car on the lawn - this will water your grass at the same time.

For older homes, it is worth upgrading to a WELS 3 star rated water saving showerhead and a dual flush toilet to save thousands of litres of water a year.

To help people find practical water wise solutions, Sydney Water has today launched a partnership with Bunnings, offering DIY workshops and advice on the best products to save water at home. Find your nearest Sydney-based store at

Find more water wise tips for your home.