9. Water

9.3 What can you do

There are many simple things you can do to help keep water sources clean and plentiful. Easy everyday actions include:

  • using environmentally friendly dishwashing, shower and laundry soaps – think about the chemicals you are putting down the sink.
  • planting native plants, especially in riparian zones.
  • reduce the amount of fertiliser and pesticides you use in your garden.
  • clean up leaves and other organic matter on your street and compost them or add to your green bin. This prevents them being washed into waterways where they decompose, negatively affecting water quality.
  • changing your water use habits: have shorter showers, recycle water, do fewer loads of washing, water the garden less, install a rainwater tank.

Want to be more involved? Join the WaterWatch program (and encourage others to do so). This is a volunteer program in which people check the quality of water at sites around the ACT. There are 243 sites to choose from so it’s easy to find one nearby. The Atlas of Living Australia uses the data on water quality, water bugs and river plants for research, which has helped government make decisions about how to best care for aquatic ecosystems.