Take things into your own hands
Try out the do-it-yourself interactive water check

​A clever online tool, a few household items and a spare 25 minutes are all you need to check your household's water use and potentially make savings.

The EcoMatters Environment Trust has created an online DIY Interactive Water Check that can help you identify how much water you're using and whether you have any leaks that need fixing.

The online check covers the bathroom, laundry, kitchen and gardening and requires a screwdriver, damp cloth, bucket, measuring jug and a stopwatch, which most cellphones have.

Watercare resource recovery manager Rob Tinholt did an online water check with his family and says the questions prompted them to think about their water use behaviour.

"The kids joined in answering the questions, so it worked as an educational tool. As a result, we have changed the way we load the washing machine. The kids' default for 'putting away' their clothes had become the washing basket for everything, but they now realise we save a lot of water by not washing a jumper or pants every day."

EcoMatters sustainability advisor Myrthe Braam says the online tool mirrors the Watercare-funded, in-house water checks that the trust provides.

"A DIY check means far more people are able to have a thorough analysis of their water usage and they can do it at any time that suits them."

Once the questions have been answered, the information is sent to one of the trust's sustainability advisors, who provide customised advice on the best ways to make water savings.

To do the online water use check, go to www.ecomatters.org.nz/watercheck.