Water is the source of all life on Earth, but are we doing enough to save it?
At a time when access to drinking water is at an all time low, there’s never been a better time to put some water saving strategies in place in your home.
While water is a freely available resource, it is a scarce one, often compromised by low-rainfall, heat waves that result in high evaporation rates, pollution, and the destruction of river catchments.
During a water crisis, households can expect to pay fines of around R6 000 if they exceed the current water restriction quotas.
The idea behind these penalties is to encourage the responsible usage of water, which means no filling up of swimming pools, no more long showers, and definitely no washing down of driveways and pavements with a hosepipe. By refraining from these, and other wasteful activities, you will help ensure there is enough water in the dams for everyone.
Here are a few clever ways to help reduce your water consumption in the bathroom, laundry and kitchen.
Many people are happy to make considerable changes to reduce their water consumption, except when it come to their bath or shower time. Bathing is a therapeutic experience, especially with our busy lives – a long hot shower is a great way to wash away the day’s woes. But this experience needn’t be completely compromised during water-stressed times. Replace your existing showerhead with a water-efficient model to significantly reduce the amount of water you use when you shower. The same can be said for taps – water efficient tap aerators can be bought separately and manually inserted into your existing tap, making them an affordable alternative to buying and installing a whole new water-efficient faucet in your bathroom.
Choosing a washing machine with a good water efficiency rating is a sure way to reduce your impact in our water-stressed times.
Rapid advances in technology have allowed appliance manufacturers to create products that meet the highest standards when it comes to efficiency.
High and dry
Heated towel rails have long been considered a luxury product for the high-end market, but they are in fact an item that all homes should have, especially when natural resources are scarce. Heated towel rails serve the practical purpose of drying your towels quickly and efficiently. As a result, it hinders the growth of bacteria so you don’t have to wash your towels as often.
When compared with the carbon footprint created by frequently washing your towels, or by drying them with a tumble dryer, a heated towel rail comes out tops.
Here are some other simple water saving tips that you could use in your home:
- Reduce showering time, and switch off the taps when applying soap to your body or hair for example.
- Repair dripping taps and water leaks.
- Reduce the amount of laundry by reusing items and putting on the machine only when there’s a full load.
- Sweep paved areas instead of washing away dirt with a hosepipe.
- Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily and install a dual-flush mechanism with separate buttons for liquid and solid waste, to help you save an average of three liters of water per flush.
- Alternatively, fill your traditional toilet cistern with bricks or filled 2-litre cool drink bottles so that you use less water every time you flush.
- Turn of your sprinklers automatic timer.
- Get a pool cover to reduce evaporation.
- Plant water wise plants and mulch your garden to keep the soil moist for longer.
- Wash your car with a bucket of water rather than with the hosepipe.
- Refrain from watering your garden or filling up the pool between 6am and 6pm.
- Replace water-wasting fixtures with low-flow aerators.
- Report burst pipes immediately.