10 March 2017
Cape Town is currently in a water crisis, with its six dams having less than 20% of useable water left. This leaves the City of Cape Town with about 100 days of water left.
Although the northern parts of South Africa have received good rainfall and are hence no longer suffering drought conditions, we all felt the effects of water scarcity in 2016 as food prices soared due to this nationwide drought. This reiterated the fact that water is not something to be taken for granted, as we often do, because the effects of its shortage are comprehensive, reaching into our wallets too.
In order to give proper respect to the importance of water in every aspect of our lives, we all need to do our part to conserve water. It does not help to make excuses and shift the blame onto those “other people” who waste water. We need to begin the revolution right where it makes us most uncomfortable: in our own homes.
Here are some ideas you can integrate into your home:
Shower, and do it quickly. You can use less water if you choose to shower instead of bathing. And reducing the time you spend in your shower – aim for 2 minutes – will save a significant amount of water, and hence reduce your water bill, each month.
Buckets are handy things. Buckets can be used in various wonderful ways to save water. For example, put a large bucket in front of you as you shower so that all the water that bounces off your body can be recycled. Some handy uses for this water you’ve saved would be to fill up your toilet cistern after flushing, or watering your plants. Another example is placing container into your kitchen sink to wash your dishes in, or rinsing fruit and vegetables. Instead of letting it all go down the drain, the water can be used for other purposes.
Stop wasting. Some habits deserve to die – not only are they useless, but they are also wasteful. Don’t leave your tap on while brushing your teeth or washing your dishes, fix your dripping taps, as these can waste many litres of water per day and don’t spend too much time washing your hands. Avoid flushing the toilet every time you use it: as the old cliché goes: if it’s yellow, let it mellow…
These are just a few suggestions, but there are many more simple ways to save water around the house. The trick to becoming a water-saver is simply to become water-conscious. Think about what you’re doing and ask yourself: is this necessary? And if so, can I do it in a more water-conserving way?