Water use in the kitchen

The kitchen is a major consumer of water in the home

Kitchen tips

Here we use around 10% of total household water consumption for cooking, cleaning, washing or drinking.

  • Wash your vegetables in a container or under running water.
  • Remove food scraps by scraping into compost or a bin.
  • To avoid wasting drinking water from a running tap, 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 per day. Put suitable food scraps into a composter or worm farm rather than down the kitchen sink.
  • When you clean your fish tank, use the ‘old’ nitrogen and phosphorous-rich water on your plants.
  • When washing dishes by hand, use washing-up liquid sparingly.

Using the dishwasher

  • The dishwasher is the highest consumer of water in the kitchen. Installing a water efficient model will save you not only water but also money. Before purchasing a new dishwasher, check the appliance for a WELS (National Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme) label. The WELS scheme labels products for water efficiency – the more stars, the more water efficient the product.
  • Only use the dishwasher when you have a full load.
  • Use the rinse-hold setting on the dishwasher, if it has one, rather than rinsing dishes under the tap.

Waiting for the hot water to come through?

  • Catch running water whilst waiting for it to warm up. Use it to water plants, rinse dishes, or wash fruit and vegetables.
  • Insulate hot water pipes. This avoids wasting water while waiting for hot water to flow through and saves energy.
  • Make sure your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. Adding cold water to cool very hot water is wasteful.
  • New hot water systems allow you to specify the temperature without adding cold water.
  • Install a plumbing device that allows the cold water to be recirculated until it warms up.
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