TAMWORTH's toughest tier of water restrictions are in effect and the council has outlined a bevy of ways for people to tighten their household use.
The council wants people to limit daily personal use to 150 litres in order to stretch the city's remaining supplies.
Limiting air conditioner time, shorter showers and reduced laundry loads are among the recommendations the council has put forward.
"From today, council will be rolling out information about how residents can achieve the 150 litre per person per day target through traditional media advertising, mail outs and our town water supplies online portal," water sustainability officer Ian Lobban said.
In the lead up to level 5 restrictions, the council has released a suggested guideline:
- Laundry - 40
- Cooking - 7
- House cleaning - 7
- Toilet -15
- Drinking - 3
- Dishwashing -15
- Teeth, hands, face - 2
- Pets - 1
- Shower - 60
"Most people in our community are doing a great job of reducing their water use and we know they are keen to find out about how they can do more - they truly understand we all need to work together to extend the life of our water supply," Mr Lobban said.
Interestingly, evaporative air conditioners did not factor into the council's 150 litre a day guideline, but Mr Lobban said the community needed to consider usage going forward.
"Evaporative air conditioners can use a lot of water - anywhere from five to 40 litres per hour," he said.
"Having a technician service and maintain your system will ensure you're not using more water than necessary."
In the council's guidelines, showers were factored in as the biggest consumer of water in households.
Mr Lobban said "an efficient shower head will use nine litres of water per minute or less".
He said older showers could be thirstier as well.
"Measure the amount of water captured in a bucket in the first 30 seconds of your shower to determine the amount used in a 3 minute shower," he said.
"If the amount is more than 60 litres per three minute shower, consider changing your shower head to a more efficient one or try to reduce your shower times."
People are also encouraged to check the WELS (Water Efficiency Rating and Standards) rating on their washing machines as well.
The council recommending full loads only with the guideline's suggestion of a 40 litre daily maximum put through washing machines under level five.
Half flushing and not flushing toilets, where possible, has also been recommended.
"Never compromise your health or hygiene, if the full flush is needed, use it," he said. "Newer, efficient toilets can use as little as 2.5 litres per half flush.
People can chat to Mr Lobban, who will be available in the council foyer on Tuesday, from 10am to 1pm.