Water efficiency

When building, redeveloping or significantly extending a property, you need to demonstrate how your plans meet a 40 per cent water efficiency target. This applies to all residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Use our calculators to identify how the water efficiency targets can be met:

The calculators have been designed specifically for the Canberra region using local water usage statistics, rainfall data and watering requirements.

Single residential options

For single residential buildings, you need to consider a rainwater tank or a greywater system.

Use the single residential waterways calculator to identify how the water efficiency targets can be met.

Note, if the block is less than 300m2, inclusion of water efficient plumbing fixtures, which are already mandatory, will be deemed to comply with the water use target.

Option 1: Rainwater tank

Block size Minimum tank size (litres) Minimum roof area connected to tank Tank connected to at least:
250 to 500 m² 2,000 50% or 75m² Toilet, laundry cold water, all external uses
500 to 800 m² 4,000 50% or 100m² Toilet, laundry cold water, all external uses
800 m² 5,000 50% or 125m² Toilet, laundry cold water, all external uses

Review the Rainwater tanks - Guidelines for Residential Properties in Canberra (PDF 3.6 MB) for advice about installing a rainwater tank.

Option 2: Greywater system, treating water to Class A standard

A greywater system is to be connected to all toilet, laundry cold water and all external uses.

Review the Greywater use - Guidelines for residential properties in Canberra (PDF 1.23 MB) for ways to re-use water from laundries, kitchens and toilets.

Commercial and industrial options

Design and construction professionals can refer to:

Saving water

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) helps minimise water runoff and ensure any runoff causes the least amount of damage. It is also about wise use of that water to improve our urban environment.

The key principles of WSUD are to:

In 2009 the ACT Government introduced the Water Sensitive Urban Design General Code under the Territory Plan. Find out about:

More information

Find out about:

Related links

Contact us for more information.