South Africa is being urged to conserve water and to use water sparingly due to the severe strain as a result of the recent drought.
South Africa (29 October 2015) – The South African Weather Service’s has issued a statement that the country is experiencing below normal rainfall this season. The persistent high temperatures and the lack of rainfall in the province have put a strain on Rand Water’s bulk water supply system.
The water restrictions, implemented with immediate effect, include not watering gardens with hosepipes or a sprinkler system between 6 am and 6 pm. Washing vehicles with hosepipes and filling swimming pools are also included.
Rand Water has issued warnings that should the restrictions not be adhered, the situation may worsen. More so, the UN expects that 3.4 billion people will be living in countries defined as water-scarce by 2025. When water is scarce, people are forced to consume contaminated water.
We thought we change one thing & put together a list to conserve water… not just because of restrictions but because it matters.
Here’s our top 10:
Don’t leave the tap running needlessly. If you are washing your face and you need to get the tap warm, use that initial cooler water to brush your teeth, and then wash your face afterwards when the hot water starts coming out.
Choose and use your appliances wisely. Use energy star appliances whenever possible and always use them at full capacity. Choose economy settings and don’t run the dishwasher half-full.
Never throw water away. If you pour too much out or have some left in your glass, use it. Pour the surplus into your dog’s water dish, water a plant, or add it to your water kettle.
Stop that leaky toilet. Not only does it sound annoying, but it also wastes loads of water. Leaks can often be fixed by making minor adjustments. Test your toilet using some dye tablets, available in this all-in-one water conservation kit.
Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. According to American Water & Energy Savers, a faucet that drips at the rate of one drop per second will waste 2,700 gallons per year.
Take shorter showers or better yet, get your hands on some hardware that will help cut the water use every time you shower. At the very least replace your shower head with a high-efficiency one. These are designed to maintain water pressure while using much less water than the old-fashioned sort. Treehugger says you will reduce your shower water use by 20 to 60 percent by doing so.
Consider the water footprint of your diet. Some foods require a lot more water to produce than others. According to WaterFootprint, it takes 140 litres (35 gallons) of water to make just one cup of coffee, 1,000 litres (270 gallons) to make one litre of milk, and 16,000 litres to make one pound of beef. Check out this online water footprint calculator to see how much water some common foods need in order to be produced. The same principles of decreasing the carbon footprint of your diet (eating local, eating organic, and eating less meat) are generally the same principles for decreasing the water footprint.
Convert your toilet to a dual flush, and don’t flush it more than necessary. If it’s yellow let it mellow, you know? But you still have to flush. Thankfully, converting your toilet to a dual flush is easier than ever, thanks to products like the Tap-n-Flush. It’s a remarkably easy installation, a very intuitive device, and pays for itself in water savings super quickly. If you don’t want to convert and still want to save water, you might find this toilet tank insert super helpful, too…it’ll reduce the amount of water used every time you flush.
Make sure every tap in your home has a high-efficiency faucet aerator. Faucet aerators are the little pieces of hardware that screw into the bottom of faucets. High-efficiency aerators can reduce flow by 1.5 gallons per minute or more…saving you piles of money and saving lots of water.
Set up a rain barrel this summer. It will rain a bit & you can collect rainwater from your eaves to water your garden.
There is so much that we as individuals can do to help conserve water. Our collective conservation and advocacy efforts will not only reduce our monthly water bills, help the current water crisis but will go a long way towards alleviating this growing problem in the long run.