A hassle-free guide to saving water everyday

A hassle-free guide to saving water everyday

A dry river bed is pictured at the Vaal Dam, 2 November 2016, in Oranjeville, Free State. A severe drought has seen the Vaal dam water level drop to below 26 percent leading to water restrictions across the country. Picture: Alaister Russell

South Africa is experiencing a drought with only sporadic rain in some parts of the country expected throughout summer.

Dam levels in many provinces are still low, and government has urged people to continue to save water as the country anticipates another very hot summer.

In addition, between October and mid-December 2019, the country will experience below-average rainfall accompanied by hot temperatures, thereby raising evaporation levels in the dams.

Saving water during hot temperatures might seem like a huge feat, but it’s the small changes in habits that will have an impact.

Here are some practical, economic water-saving tips:

Bucket showers and greywater gardening

Any Capetonian can attest to this method of showering. The two-year drought in the Western Cape forced people to change their behaviour when it came to saving water.

Keep your showers short. An easy way to do this is to turn the water off while you soap your body, and only turn it on again when you’re ready to rinse.

Put a bucket in the shower to ensure that no water is wasted. This is also useful while you wait for the water to warm up. Water collected from your shower bucket can be used to flush the toilet and water the garden. If you have a small shower, find a small bucket, and empty the contents into your garden after every wash.

If it’s yellow, let it mellow

There is no need to flush the toilet each time you use it, especially at home. Always remember the phrase, “When it’s yellow, let it mellow, when it’s brown, flush it down”. Only certain unpleasant-smelling excrement needs to be flushed.

Don’t forget to dispose of waste in the trash bin instead of flushing it down the toilet.

You can also further reduce the amount of water you use per flush by putting a 1ℓ or 2ℓ bottle filled with stones in your toilet’s cistern. This will drastically reduce the amount of water waster per flush.

Don’t leave the tap running

Whether you are washing your face or your hands, or brushing your teeth, close the tap and save up to 37 litres of water a day.

Rather use a glass of water when you brush your teeth and fill the basin when you wash your face.

Only do full loads of laundry and dishes

When doing your washing, make sure you do a full load to save water. An added bonus if you do laundry on a cold wash is that you also save significant amounts of electricity.

The same applies for loading Energy Star-certified dishwashers, which already saves more water than hand washing dishes.

Check for leaks

Leaking taps around your house waste hundreds of litres of water and in turn, spike your water bill. Make sure you check pipes and taps inside and outside your house thoroughly and regularly. Monitor your water meter as well.

Original article by Caxton Central

Additional reporting by Nica Schreuder

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