Life made simple

Water. Lots in the ocean, too little in the dams.


Water conservation is a hot topic in South Africa now. Did you know, there is a finite amount of water on the planet? We humans are multiplying rapidly, but we all have to share the same amount of water.

Water covers 71 percent of the earth, but with climate change and melting polar ice caps, there’s now even more water in the oceans. The problem is, we can’t drink that salty H2O, or even flush our loos with it.

The drought in the Western Cape is really serious. The seasonal rains have slowed down, and dams in the Cape are only about a quarter full. Every Capetonian knows we have enough water to last until December, maybe January, unless everyone cuts down.

So, if you’re living in the Cape, how to take water conservation seriously, and cut down? Here are some things you should already be doing:

No watering of lawns, filling of pools, car washing or hosing driveways with city tap water – that’s a no-no. Use only 87 litres or less, per person, per day. Have a short, 2 minute shower – and make it a ‘trickle’ shower, not a high pressure blast.

So, how can you cut down?

Catch your shower water in a bucket or save your bathwater, and use it to flush the loo, (pour it directly into the toilet bowl, not the cistern) wash your car, mop the floor and water plants.

Don’t let the cold water from the hot tap run down the drain while waiting for it to get hot. Use it to fill a pot or a kettle.

Use fewer pots and pans to cook, so there’ll be less washing up to do. And make sure the washing machine is full before running a cycle – shorter cycle.

Using fabric softener requires another rinse cycle. Do you really need it? Cut down on laundry by washing towels and bed linen a little less often.

Do all of these things, and be a shameless water cop: tell everyone around you to do the same! Your brownie points are in the mail.

For more info on water conservation, go here.


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