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Water saving tips

November 10, 2015

South Africa is experience severe water shortages with some places in crises. I am lucky to live in a metropolis so at least the city will do everything in it’s power to provide me with water but I still feel responsible for helping to save water. As @CityofJoburgZA put it, water saving is not about who can afford water, it’s about trying to reduce your water consumption no matter who you are.

So, based on what I’ve seen in the city in the past few weeks I’ve put together some practical tips to help reduce the water demand so that the little bit we’ve got left can go further

  • Swith off your automatic sprinklers – this is not the time to be watering the lawn on your pavement daily. Your grass is going to go into “hibernation” and turn brown. Deal with  it
  • Choose which plants in your garden have daily priority and water only those on that day – preferably with a watering can. Not all plants need to be watered every day. Be selective and this will help your garden stay alive (it won’t be lush) until the drought is over
  • Try and collect “grey” water. If you can afford to but a grey water system in do this right now. If you can’t afford a system there are a few manual efforts you can try. Once you’ve bathed collect the water in the tub with a bucket and use that to water your plants or flush your toilet. If you shower put a large bucket in the shower with you which will collect a lot of cast off water while you shower. It’s mostly fresh water that would have gone down the drain anyway. Perfect for watering plants or even washing laundry
  • Families should bath together to save water. Then put your grey water to use as above
  • Don’t let the tap run while you brush your teeth or shave
  • Don’t use running water to rinse dishes. Fill the basin and rinse all dishes in the same water. I promise it will be fine
  • If you have a dishwasher make sure it’s full before running it. Run it on “eco” mode.
  • Don’t every just throw away water. If you have some water left after an outdoor activity be sure to put your leftover water in the garden or your pets bowl. You might not want the bottle of the bottle but they won’t mind
  • Cover your pool. It’s an investment which prevents excessive evaporation and keeps your pool clean. It’s also an added safety feature. Winning all round. It’s worth paying for. If you really can’t afford a pool cover then don’t keep topping up your pool as the water evaporates Also, put off remodelling or building pool until there is enough water to fill it. There is a crises people- pool water is not an ethical investment at this stage
  • Fix leaking taps and report any leaking municipals pipes to the council. Just do it
  • Invest in a Jo Jo tank or Raincell. One day it will rain again and then you will stock up on this precious resource. I have one and it’s been a great help during these dry weeks. It’s the responsible thing to do and will save you money in the long run
  • Talk to people about their water habits. Spread the word about the drought. Some people are so caught up in habit they don’t realise how they are “wasting” water. If you share tips with them and lead by example you can help make a difference

Water is a limited resources and the more we make efforts to save it the longer it will last. This is everyone’s problem

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