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Water usage records to tumble in hot NSW

AAP logoAAP 17/12/2016 Belinda Tasker

With a long, hot summer on the cards Sydneysiders are expected to break more records in terms of water use during the coming months.

A blast of hot weather resulted in daily water use hitting a record high in Australia's biggest city at 2171 megalitres - the equivalent of 868 Olympic-sized swimming pools - as temperatures soared toward 40C last Tuesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast above-average warm days and nights, along with below-average rain for most parts of the continent between December and February.

Sydney Water spokesman Peter Hadfield says records could tumble again if the forecasts are accurate, largely as a result of people watering their gardens more often during hot weather.

However while daily water use can spike on hot days, Sydneysiders are still using the same average amount of water - 300L a day each - as they did back in the 1940s.

"But what's probably more remarkable is that our current total average water use now across our entire network is exactly the same as it was 10 years ago when level 3 water restrictions were in place - but now there's an extra one million people living in Sydney," Mr Hadfield told AAP.

Mr Hadfield says average daily water usage has fallen dramatically since its peak in the early 1980s when it was about 526L a person.

More water tanks and water-efficient appliances such as dual-flush toilets and washing machines have helped.

"People's behaviour and improvements in technology have led to a reduction in overall water use which is a good thing because it's a limited resource," Mr Hadfield said.

HOW TO BE WATER WISE

* Every minute less in the shower saves one bucket of water

* Save up to four buckets of water a day by using the toilet's half-flush button

* Use water in the sink, not a running tap, to wash vegetables and razors

* Install a AAA rated water-saving showerhead

* Water each plant at its roots, not the leaves

* Wash your car on the lawn so the grass gets watered too

* Use a pool cover to stop water evaporating

* Brooms or rakes are better than a hose to clear debris from hard surfaces.

(Source: Sydney Water)

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