Dams Vaal Water saving Shedding mechanism Grey Water
Photo Credit: On File

Nelson Mandela Bay had some good rain recently but it didn’t do much for dam levels – many people tend to use more water after rain but we shouldn’t.


Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa (06 October 2020) – The Eastern Cape has been struggling with water due to low dam levels and lack of rain. This is an all too familiar tale for provinces in South Africa.

South Africa is a water-scarce country and one should always practice water-wise and water-saving techniques, no matter the current dam levels or rainy days. So while these tips are directed at the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay, the whole country can take note!

Nelson Mandela Bay recently had some good rains but they did not make much of a difference to the levels of the dams in the province. Take a look at the different dams below.

Dams          Capacity            Available Megalitre (Ml)      Available (%)

Kouga          25,910Ml               10,172Ml                                      8.08%

Churchill      35,240Ml                18,469Ml                                     52.41%

Impofu         105,757Ml              19,639Ml                                     18.57%

Groendal     11,638Ml                 2,705Ml                                      23.24%

Loerie          3,026Ml                  1,047Ml                                      34.6%

Combined   281,571Ml               52,032Ml                                   18.48%

Because the dam levels are not budging, we thought we would bring our old and faithful tips for saving water back up. These are always a great reminder and refresher. You know the usuals like if it’s yellow let it mellow, saving greywater for the garden and toilets and placing a brick in your toilet so it fills up less, but here are a few more.

Installation of water-saving showerheads

Research has shown that a water-saving showerhead uses up to 50% less water than a regular free flow showerhead.

Taking shorter showers (five minutes or less is best)

The US Federal Plumbing Standards specify that shower taps have a flow rate of not more than an equivalent of about 8.3 litres per minute. If our taps were to adhere to this standard for a five-minute shower one would use close to 42 litres of water! However, with a water-efficient showerhead, you can save almost 40% of this.

Installation of water-saving aerators on your taps

Bathroom and kitchen sink taps account for about 20% of water used in an average home. By installing water-efficient aerators one can save up to 40% of water used by sink taps. As a way of enhancing the use of water-efficient taps the relevant authorities ought to develop plumbing standards in regards to related water flow rates for sink taps.

Use a shut-off nozzle on your garden hose

How many of us have filled a bucket of water until it spilled over and we had to dash back to the garden tap to shut it off? The savings that result from installing a shut-off nozzle will offset the initial cost.

Water your garden and outdoor plants early or late in the day to minimise evaporation

The low ground and atmospheric temperatures in the early hours of the day allow for a much longer water retention time thus resulting in a higher rate of water percolation. This is also true when you water your garden later in the day. The less intense sunlight will reduce the rate of evaporation hence more water retention!

Use a broom not a hose to clean your driveway(s)

Using a hose to clean your driveway can be fun and it gives that instant look of “cleanliness”. However, the practice is irresponsible and discouraged. It wastes water for a task that can be accomplished with a broom. Depending on the obtaining flowrate and the area of the driveway you can waste enough water you could have otherwise saved.

Turn off the tap when scrubbing dishes and pots; turn off the water when soaping your hands or brushing your teeth

When you are not using it shut it off! You can lose close to 10 litres in a minute. This loss is even worse if you don’t have water-efficient aerators installed. The longer your taps are running the more the water you lose which could otherwise have been saved.

Wash only full loads when using washing machines

Not only does this save energy but it also saves water! A full load translates to a more efficient washing cycle in terms of water and energy use.

Thawing food in the fridge rather than on running water

Bucket-loads of water are lost this way.

Not filling swimming pools

A swimming pool can lose water to leaks. However, when swimming pools are exposed to the elements they lose more water through evaporation. Add this to the amount of water used to top-up the swimming pool at regular intervals can result in water-use of about 24 kilolitres for the pool only! This pushes your water bill up into the higher tariff bands.

Sources: Herald Live / Good Things Guy
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Dams, Dams, Dams, Dams.

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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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