Nelson Mandela Bay: Tips on how to use just 40-litres of water a day

5-litres Water Calculator

Nelson Mandela Bay residents have just been told that they may need to stick to 40-litres a day, so we have put some helpful tips to get you through this tough time.


It was not a simple task going from 87-litres per day down to 50-litres, but Capetonians worked hard and managed to get their water consumption down. Now this task has fallen to Nelson Mandela Bay residents as well, only they will have 40-litres to work with.

eNCA reporter Sandy McCowen was on site for the announcement of the possible new water restrictions.

It won’t be easy but it can be done and this is how…

This is all very grim news but fear not, we have come up with a few more tips on how to make 40 litres a day work for you and your family.

  • A 2-minute shower can use 20 litres in one go, reduce your shower to 1-minute or less, or share a shower session with your partner. Remember to catch your shower water in a bucket.
  • Place the plug in your sink to stop water from running down the drain when rinsing after you dry brush your teeth. Collect said water and use it for the toilet.
  • Save your grey water for the toilet and place a brick in the cistern to reduce the amount of water in the tank.
  • Tie a packet around your shower head after use to prevent the drops of water from being wasted. Literally, every drop counts now.
  • Wipe down all dishes with a damp cloth and do dishes every second-day. Or make use of paper plates that can be recycled.
  • Invest in dry shampoo, anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer to reduce water usage.
  • Fill a 2-litre bottle with drinking water each day and drink only that. Do this for your pets as well. (keep their water indoors to prevent evaporation)
  • Use your swimming pool water for toilets.
  • Take your washing to friends and family and do one large load with everyone’s things.
  • Cook one meal a day. Make enough for leftovers the next day.

We used the water calculator provided by the Western Cape Government to see if it is possible to live like this and it is. This is what we input and got 41.9 litres, we know it is 2 litres over but if you reduce your toilet flushes or shower time, you can easily achieve it. This tool will be useful in tracking your water usage.

  • 1x 1-minute shower = 10 litres
  • 1x Toilet flush = 18 litres
  • 1x Sink of dishes = 9 litres
  • 2x Brushing your teeth = 0.30 litres
  • 1x Cooked meal = 0.60 litres
  • 8x Glasses of water = 2 litres
  • 1x Medium bowl of water for a pet = 2 litres

It isn’t ideal but is proof that it isn’t impossible either. We truly hope that it rains soon and will continue to do our rain dances for Port Elizabeth.

Sources: Twitter
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Tyler Vivier
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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