Melbourne's in the grip of the most amazing drought and it amazes me how much worse things might get if we don't get rain. I've added a link (see above) to see two photos of the Thomson Reservoir; one in 2008 and another almost ten years ago. The reservoir is part of the water catchment area for Melbourne, and the photos terrify me considering the purpose of the Thomson is to provide additional water during dry years.
Melbourne is currently on Stage 3A water restrictions, and we're also asked to limit our water usage to 155 litres per person per day. That sounds like a lot of water to me as my family of four used to use about 180 litres per day in mid summer, and we've managed to cut this even further without using grey water on the garden or installing a tank!
As well as owning a front loading 4 star water saving washing machine, I think the thing that really saves us is that we have very little garden. But even what we have is suffering, and we lost a tree a fee years ago because I thought the garden would survive (just near the front door).
But this year I'm a lot more organised and I'm using soft drink bottles full of water at the foot of every tree and it's making a huge difference to both the trees and the ground covering around them.
Looking towards the front steps; you can see a soft drink bottle in the bottom left and the dead tree is centre top (the reddish bit).
Every second day I collect the water from the shower before the hot water comes in and I use this on the garden. This generally captures more than half a bucket of water (because our gravity fed hot water takes a long time to arrive), and this small act is making all the difference. Our little patch of green it suddenly looking so much better and I feel as though it will easily make it easily through this summer, and all for the equivalent of 5 minutes per day.