Water restrictions planned around the country
The recent heat wave that has hit large parts of the country is quickly leading to water restrictions, as water levels drop in dams and reservoirs. We offer some advice on water saving practices you can use in the home to help conserve water.
By implementing water-saving features in the home you can reduce your usage by as much as 35%, and saving water doesn't have to cost you anything if you think carefully about how you use water.
In the bathroom
Stop any leaks in toilets or taps. Don't let precious resources go down the drain when a pack of tap washers costs under R20 and takes about 10 minutes to fix. If you don't know how to... click here for details.
Do a quick flush when using the toilet. There are plenty of water-saving tips for cutting back on water usage for toilets, from placing a bottle of water or brick in the toilet, or installing a low flush toilet. But a quick flush doesn't cost anything and your whole family will soon get into the habit.
Make your showers shorter and cut down the amount of water you use if you prefer to bathe. You can also conserve water in the shower by installing water-saving shower heads.
Rather than let the water run when brushing your teeth, fill a glass with water to rinse and turn off the tap.
In the kitchen
Washing machines and dishwashers use water in large doses, but you can cut down on water usage by running these appliances only on full loads, reducing the washing cycle, or investing in a newer model that features energy wise and water saving features.
If you need to run tap water for an extended period for hot water, keep a container handy to use this water for other tasks, such as watering the garden.
Where you only have a single sink and leave the tap on to rinse dishes, rather fill up a plastic bucket or container and use this for rinsing dishes.
Gardens can have high water needs if not designed to be low maintenance or water wise. However, you can put practices in place that reduce the amount of water needed to keep a garden lush and green. Only water early in the morning or late evening, using a water can or a hand-held hose pipe without a spray nozzle. In this way you can water deep into the roots and minimal water is wasted.
Add a layer of mulch around plants to keep them cool during the heat and also to help reduce water loss where it counts - in the soil.
Rain barrels or grey water harvesting tanks are a worthwhile investment for gardens that are high maintenance. Click here for more details on rainwater and grey water harvesting.
If you own a swimming pool you can save electricity and conserve water by running the pool at night and switching off any fountains or jets.
Use a high pressure washer for cleaning motor vehicles. These use far less water than a hose pipe and will also make cleaning easier and less time consuming.