Environmental Information Exchange

Measuring and monitoring water use

Water is a metered resource that can be easily measured and monitored.  However, it is often a low priority and monitoring does not occur with enough frequency to reduce the risk of leaks and over-consumption.  The follow information will help measure and monitor water use:

Water meter

Water use is measured in cubic metres (m3).  One cubic metre of water is 1000L.  Use meter readings and bills (link) to determine annual quantities and costs of water.  Review readings regularly to identify any changes in water use.  Ensure that a review also considers changes to water use such as hours of operations, number of users on site, specific events, etc. The more frequently the water meter is read and consumption reviewed, the more likely any leaks or anomalies will be identified.

Measuring water using equipment

Measuring the flow rates of equipment can help determine if the amount is appropriate for need.  Flow can be measured by noting quantity of water over time.  Tap and showers can be measured by noting length of time needed to fill a 1 litre bucket.  For toilets, the dimensions of the tank can be used to calculate the volume.

Spotting leaks

Not all water leaks are obvious.  A damaged pipe or connection may leak below the ground with no visible effects.  Pipes may leak because of age, temperature, or the presence of roots and other intrusions.  The following are good ways to check for leaks:

What to do if you have a leak