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Yarra Valley Water encourages Melburnians to shower shorter and save water

New campaign urges Gen Z to be mindful of time spent in the shower

With showers making up an average of 31 per cent of a typical household’s water use - and under 35-year-olds luxuriating in lengthy showers - Yarra Valley water is urging people to shower shorter.

A recent survey commissioned by the Melbourne metropolitan water corporations - Saving Water in Melbourne (SWiM) - sheds light on the wider water habits of Melburnians. A key finding of the survey is that 33.3% of Generation Z Melburnians (people born between 1996-2010) take 10-15 minute showers, compared to the other generations such as baby boomers who shower for 4-5 minutes.

Now a new light-hearted Shower Shorter campaign encourages young adults to take shorter showers by cutting out water-wasting behaviours.

The campaign uses fun characters such as the ‘daydreamer’ and ‘performer’ to tap into all the things we love to do in the shower - such as singing, meditating and solving the world’s problems – that can be better done elsewhere.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director Pat McCafferty said being mindful of how we use water can lead to better habits that can protect precious resources and save money.

“Young adults are spending longer in the shower and we know the average household uses over 30 per cent of its water in the bathroom,” Mr McCafferty said.

“With a drying climate and growing population, we need to develop good water use habits and protect water supplies for the future. By cutting back to four minutes, the average household can save 24 litres of water per shower and $200 a year on water and energy bills. Small changes like this are easy to make and collectively have a big impact.”

Over the course of a year, the average reduction to four minutes can also save 359 kg CO2-e Greenhouse Gas emissions a year, the equivalent of driving from Melbourne to Townsville.

Yarra Valley Water customers can see and hear the campaign until 25 June on digital channels, social media, YouTube, outdoor signage, Spotify and podcasts in English, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Punjabi and Arabic.

Key findings about Generation Z from the SWiM survey:

  • Generation Z Melburnians take longer showers overall compared to other generations
  • Generation Z were more likely to underestimate their water usage, at least compared to Baby Boomers
  • Generation Z were also less likely to place high importance on saving water than the Greatest Generation (those aged 75+)
  • 33.3% of Generation Z Melburnians take 10-15 minutes to shower, compared to the other generations such as baby boomers who shower for 4-5 minutes

Other general population key findings include:

  • Out of the respondents who sing in the shower the most popular song to sing was anything by Adele
  • Over 80% of Melburnians are aware that they could do more to save water
  • Most Melburnians aren’t aware of how much water they use per day, meaning that they might not be doing enough to save water
  • Only 26% of Melburnians felt that other people are doing enough to save water, in contrast to 70% of respondents who felt (or at least somewhat agreed) that they, themselves, are doing enough
  • 71.6% of Melburnians shower or bathe at least once per day, and 18.8% shower or bathe every two days, and 9.6% shower every three days or longer
  • Melburnians were mixed in terms of whether they limit their showering time, with almost 40% indicating that they do only sometimes, and only 37.6% indicating that they limit shower time ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’
  • 58% of Melburnians indicated that they never reuse greywater (e.g., re-using bathroom or laundry water to water plants), which is high considering only 10% indicated they have no plants/lawn
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