How Can I Save Water?




Did you know your kitchen tap can use up to 20 litres of water per minute?

The kitchen is the heart of your home and the source of about 10% of the average household’s water use. Whether cooking, washing dishes or capturing water to reuse elsewhere, there are lots of easy ways to be Waterwise in the kitchen. 

Of all your usual kitchen activities, washing dishes uses the most water. So what's the Waterwise way to get your dishes clean?

For many dishes, using the dishwasher is the most water-efficient method.

    • As long as the dishwasher is full, it is the most Waterwise way to clean your dishes. Most dishwashers use the same amount of water no matter how many dishes are inside, so washing less than a full load wastes unnecessary water. Wait until it is full instead of running partial loads.
    • When you are ready to purchase a new dishwasher, look for water efficient models—they can save up to 20% per load. Imagine all the water you’ll save over weeks, months and years of use!
    • Most modern dishwashers are quite capable of cleaning food from plates, except for pots and pans with baked-on food and grease. Scrape most of the food into the bin, but don’t bother rinsing them before you put them in the dishwasher.
    • Learn about your dishwasher’s settings and use the proper one for each wash. Choose the "quick cycle" option for all but the dirtiest dishes to save more water.

    Power tip intext 1
      Power tip: Save energy by using lower temperature settings when dishes aren’t as dirty.

    Eco tip intext 1
      Eco-tip: Do you want to do more? Run your dishwasher after 10pm instead of during the day to help reduce the load on Abu Dhabi’s water infrastructure and electrical grid. This is called shifting your use to “off-peak hours” and it helps the Emirate manage our electricity supply more effectively.

    • When washing dishes by hand, try this Waterwise method:
    1. Scrape as much food as you can from your dishes into the bin.
    2. Plug the sink and rinse your dishes quickly, turning off the sink once it’s halfway full.
    3. Add a little soap, being careful to use only a little—the more soap you use, the more water you’ll need to rinse it away.
    4. Wash and scrub your dishes.
    5. Unplug the sink and let it drain.
    6. Plug the sink again—this time to measure how much water you’ll use to rinse.
    7. Rinse your dishes using as little water as possible. Turn off the sink between each dish to save more water. Aim to be finished rinsing your dishes before the sink is halfway full.

    How did you do? Could you do better next time? Practice and teach your family too—it will get even easier as it becomes a habit.

    Eco tip intext 1  Eco-tip: Choose biodegradable detergents wherever possible to help the environment and minimise the strain on Abu Dhabi’s wastewater treatment plants. Also avoid pouring fats and oils down the sink as they can build up, clog pipes and increase the amount of work needed to treat wastewater before it can be reused for irrigation or released out to sea.

    Eco tip intext 1 Eco-tip : Looking for water-efficient products? Search certified products currently carrying the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) Trustmark for Environmental Performance by category, brand, model name and/or model number on the QCC database.

    • Did you know that garbage disposals use a lot of water? Avoid using them if you can. Instead, scrape as much food as you can into the bin before you wash your dishes.
    • The more food and sauce you leave on your plate, the more water you’ll need to rinse and wash it away. Again, you’ll save more water when you scrape as much off your dishes and into the bin before you wash them.

    Eco tip intext 1
      Eco-tip: If you have space in your garden, consider creating compost from fruit and vegetable waste (no meats or fats). Composting organic waste such as fruit and vegetable peelings, leaves, grass clippings, wood and paper scraps, gives you healthy fertilizer for your garden while reducing the demand on Abu Dhabi’s landfills and wastewater treatment plants.

    Eco tip intext 1 Eco-tip : Looking for water-efficient products? Search certified products currently carrying the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) Trustmark for Environmental Performance by category, brand, model name and/or model number on the QCC database.

  • When rinsing fruits, vegetables, rice or pulses, do it in a bowl or a pan instead of under a running tap. And instead of pouring the water down the drain, give that water to your plants!
  • Don’t use running water to thaw frozen food. Use the defrost setting on your microwave or even better,  save electricity by planning ahead and putting frozen food in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Power tip intext 1
  • Did you know that steaming vegetables instead of boiling them saves more water and retains more vitamins? Keep the lid on the pot to keep the water in. You can use the same water with those added vitamins and flavours to make soup instead of pouring it down the drain. Or, as long as you have not added any oils, meats, salt or seasonings to the water, you can give it to your plants (after it has cooled).
  • If your tap is dripping, fix it right away! A dripping tap can waste as much as 20 to 40 litres per day. If you need to wait for someone to fix the tap, place a bucket underneath the tap to use that water elsewhere. For additional tips on dripping taps and leaks, see Waterwise’s How-To Tips for Indoor Leaks.
  • When waiting for water from the tap to heat up or cool down, don’t just let that water run down the drain—catch it! You can put it in the refrigerator to drink later, give it to your plants or use it for any other purpose.
  • Affix an aerator to your tap to use up to 50% less water. Aerators are small fittings that screw on to the tip of your tap. They save water by reducing the flow but often give the feeling of improved pressure, which can be even better for getting grease of plates! Aerators are available at most good hardware stores.
  • Did you know that the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (ADQCC) is currently introducing a new rating scheme for water efficient fixtures like kitchen and bathroom taps? Look for information on this next time you need to purchase a new water-using product.

Power tip intext 1
  Power Tip: Lower the setting on your water heater to the maximum temperature you really want to use—not hotter. Turn off water heaters when you're not using them and when going on holiday to avoid using unnecessary electricity while you’re gone.