How to guide

Water efficiency


Use this guide as a starting point of what can be done and the Water: Self-assessment checklist to understand your current behaviours and identify how your business can continue to be more water efficient.

By carefully managing your water use your business can:

  • Cut costs
  • Develop an eco-friendly image
  • Attract environmentally-conscious customers.

To further understand your water use, follow this easy benchmarking process:

  1. Look at your business water use
  2. Look at your water bill and assess your water uses
  3. Determine total water use in kilolitres per year
  4. Identify yearly Key Business Activity Indicator (KBAI). This is a measure of how much water an efficient business uses for specific activities. Find the water use benchmark that corresponds best to your business
  5. Divide the kilolitres of water you use per year by your KBAI. The resulting figure is your benchmark. Knowing your water benchmark can help your business operate more efficiently
  6. Identify and implement water saving ideas
  7. Review and report progress.

Water efficiency behaviours 

  • Implement a process where leaks and faults can be reported and fixed in a timely manner
  • Make your staff water wise
  • Talk to staff about your water saving initiatives
  • Encourage staff to contribute to water saving ideas
  • Provide regular reports on water use figures
  • Appoint a 'water champion' to check meters regularly
  • Establish a baseline for water use and set achievable targets for saving water
  • Only use dishwashers when they have been fully loaded
  • Store drinking water in the fridge.

Current programs

  • WaterFix┬«Small Business - Sydney Water is trialing a small businesses water efficiency service and offering subsidies of up to $750 (Inc GST). 
  • A registered plumber will complete a water efficiency assessment at the business. After the assessment, the plumber will discuss water saving opportunities suitable for your business. Sydney Water may provide a subsidy of up to $1,000 toward water efficient devices and fixtures for businesses. 
  • The Water Efficiency and Labelling Standards Scheme (WELS) Scheme - The WELS Scheme is an Australian Government initiative which regulates water consuming products e.g. taps, toilets and dishwashers. Through the scheme, consumers are able to compare available products to ensure they are purchasing products or appliances with the highest water efficiency rating

Water efficiency strategies

  • Report leaking taps, toilets and showers
  • Use products with a high water efficiency rating (4 star or higher on WELS)
  • Explore the possibilities of installing greywater or blackwater systems
  • Install rainwater tanks. By using the Tankulator you can identify what size tank is most suitable. Make sure to follow the Rainwater Treatment Guide if choosing to use this strategy
  • Replace single flush toilets with dual flush toilets
  • Install water efficient taps with an aerator or flow restrictor
  • Install lever or mixer taps which reach desired temperatures quickly.
  • Consider installing a grease trap, if you discharge trade wastewater; and don't forget to apply for permission from Sydney Water.  

Additional resources