Provided your area gets a reasonable amount of rainfall, you might wish to consider getting a rainwater tank. Nearly half of South Australia’s households have rainwater tanks and they’re becoming increasingly common in other states. Some state governments offer rebates and other incentives for purchasing rainwater tanks and other water conservation products. Most commonly, rainwater is used for watering gardens. However, they can be specially plumbed for indoor uses, such as toilet flushing and in the laundry.

The range of tanks available has rapidly grown to include:

  • Corrugated sheet metal tanks and plastic tanks
  • Slim-line tanks designed to fit in narrow spaces
  • Rainwater bladders that can store collected water under decking or in the crawl space under a house
  • Modular ‘Waterwall’ tanks that can be a landscaping feature in themselves.

Currently, mains water is cheap in Australia, so buying a rainwater tank won’t pay back its purchase price in savings on water bills. However, with restrictions on the use of water in gardens, they may be the difference between keeping your garden alive or not over hot summers. In that sense, they can protect a household’s investment in garden plants.

There are various regulations and guidelines for the use of rainwater tanks, so check with your local council and water authority before having one installed.