Australia, the driest populated continent on earth, has only 470mm a year of rainfall, but still has the greatest per capita consumption of water at 100,000L per person each year.
Conserving water resources, even in areas without shortages, helps reduce the need to build dams, minimise river extraction, reduce wastewater produced and treated at sewage plants, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
A major part of water efficiency is achieved by harvesting rainwater and using that within the home. We have acclimatised to the unreasonable practice of using clean, treated drinking water to flush our toilets. Collected rainwater can instead be diverted to the toilet, as well as clothes washing and watering the garden. With the right filtration (outlined further in Chapter 5.1), rainwater can even be used for bathing , cooking & drinking. In this scenario, the wastewater (greywater) can be collected and used in the garden or the toilet so that your rainwater is being used twice. (A greywater system can also be used with mains supply independent of rainwater harvesting)
If The Rubix Collective is doing a full specification, our goal as new home designers in Newcastle is to always select water fixtures, fittings and related appliances with a high Water Efficiency Labelling & Standard (WELS) star rating to conserve water use.