How Can I Save Water?



Indoor Leaks

Did you know that if left unfixed, a single dripping tap could waste 20,000 to 30,000 litres in a year?

Not only do leaks waste water, but they can also lead to bigger trouble. Small leaks often grow when left unfixed over time and damage areas around them with mould, rot, rust, warping wood, ruined material finishes and electrical problems.

So to save water and avoid costly damage to your home at the same time, fix leaks fast!

Whether you live in a villa or an apartment, rent or own, these tips can help you keep your home in Waterwise condition.

For more helpful tips about leaks outside your home, see Waterwise’s How-To Tips for Outdoor Leaks.

  • leaks inside and outsideThe first rule to follow is to know where your home’s main water shut-off valve is. Often, it’s close to your home’s water meter.

    Find it and show your family where it is. In case of a big leak or a water emergency, you can turn off that valve to stop the flow of water to your home.

    You should also familiarise yourself with your home’s other water valves for specific fixtures, appliances or parts of your home. They can help you turn off the water to isolated areas until leaks are fixed.

  • Conduct an inspection tour inside your home once a month, checking for signs of leaks like:
    • Drips from taps, showerheads or other fixtures
    • Drips or wet spots underneath pipes, fixtures and appliances—even those inside cabinets or under sinks
    • The sound of water running when it shouldn’t, especially from toilets
    • Wet spots on the ground or walls
    • Mould, rust, warped wood, damaged paints or finishes

    Make note of any leaks you find and call a qualified plumber right away to fix them.

  • Check for a common type of leak in toilets with this simple trick:
    1. Add some food dye to the water in your toilet's cistern (the water tank above the bowl)—enough to make it change colour noticeably.
    2. Check back later. If the water in the bowl of the toilet has also changed colour, you'll know that water from the cistern is leaking into the bowl and you need to make sure the flapper is closing all the way or otherwise fix the seal between the two.
  • Your water bill and online accounts can be good tools for noticing leaks or other anomalies in your household water usage. Compare your household’s water usage from month to month. Does it stay relatively even, or do you notice any spikes or changes?

    If you notice spikes, ask your family to find out what happened and why. It might be a good opportunity to teach them some more Waterwise behaviours.

    If your water usage has increased in a way you can’t explain, you may have a leak somewhere inside or outside your home. To investigate further, try the Waterwise Meter Test explained below.

    • Here is a simple way to know if you have a leak somewhere on your property that you cannot see, either inside or outside:
      1. First, locate your home’s water meter.
      2. Make sure there is no water being used inside or outside your home—turn off all taps or automatic systems like sprinklers or the auto-fill for a pool, for example.
      3. Record the measurement numbers from your water meter.
      4. Wait an hour and then record them again.
      5. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak somewhere on your property.
      6. Call your plumber right away.
  • leaks spotting leaks without the first iconTo save water and avoid damage, don’t wait! Fix leaks immediately.

  • If you have a major leak or a water emergency, turn off your home’s main water shut-off valve (often located near your home’s water meter) and call a licensed professional immediately.

  • If you can isolate the leak, turn off the water valve just before the leak until it can be repaired. Many homes in Abu Dhabi have multiple water shut-off points that let you isolate specific parts of the home, fixtures or appliances. If you have a dripping tap, for example, you can simply turn off the valves under the sink until the leak can be fixed. Familiarise yourself with the rest of the water shut-off points around your home.

  • For all leaks, big and small, Waterwise recommends using an experienced plumbing professional to fix them properly. 

  • If you’re handy at fixing things yourself and want to learn more about your home’s water use and maintenance, there are many books, videos and resources online to show you how. There may even be classes available locally. But when in doubt, Waterwise recommends using an experienced, licensed professional to fix leaks properly.

    • Dripping taps are common and should be fixed immediately to avoid wasting water. In some cases, a dripping tap can be easy to fix in just a few minutes once you have the replacement parts. If you’d like to try it yourself, many helpful videos can be found online. Otherwise, call a plumber or maintenance professional to fix it for you.