Easy Water Saving Tips You May Not Have Thought Of

23/January/2017
Jess Spiro

Currently South Africa is in the middle of a severe water shortage, and water restrictions have been upped to level three and it looks like they’re are about to be booted up to level 3B. What does this mean for our everyday life? Basically, South Africa’s reservoir dams are so depleted that they’re currently below 25% capacity which means that tariffs are being introduced to make people think twice about their water usage. Unfortunately, everyone will need to do more than just turn the tap off while brushing their teeth. But, don’t stress, here are some very easy ways you can save water at home.

Catch your excess water in the shower

While you wait for the shower to heat up, place a bucket under the running water to catch the cool water. Use this perfectly clean water that can be used for a variety of uses – fill up your kettle or your fish tank, water your garden, or fill up pets’ water bowls. You can also do something similar in your sink by placing a small bucket or container under the tap. Throughout the day as you rinse your hands, glasses or whatever else, the bucket will catch the excess grey water and you can then use that to water your garden as well. Also, turn the tap off while washing your hair or shaving, the weather is warm and you won’t freeze in the shower. Those few minutes of switching off will make all the difference to your water consumption.

Reuse pasta/ potato cooking water

Don’t just throw out water because something was cooked in it! If you’ve boiled potatoes, eggs or pasta, keep the water, let it cool and reuse it. Water that has a bit of salt in it won’t harm your plants and the nutrients extracted from egg shells will actually benefit them. Alternatively, you could add that water to soups and stocks later on.

Reuse a water bottle or glass

Keeping the same water glass throughout the day means less water required for washing it when you’re done drinking. It also ensures that you finish your glasses of water, instead of dotting half-full glasses all over the house, forgetting about them and then chucking out the old water.

Did you know? South Africa is classified as a water-stressed country because annually it receives nearly half of the earth’s average rainfall. So, even when we’re not in a drought situation as we are currently, water awareness is ALWAYS important. Source www.waterwise.co.za

Don’t run the water until it’s cold – keep some in the fridge

At this warm time of the year, the water that sits in the pipes can heat up quite a bit. Over a litre of water can be wasted waiting for that water to cool down. Avoid this and simply keep bottles or jugs of water in the fridge, it’s much cooler than out of the tap and an easier way of drinking cold water.

Think about water saving attachments for taps and showers

Replace your old shower head with a water saving one that will disperse the spray more widely and use less water. For your taps, you can affix an attachment that turns the water flow into a soft mist-like spray, offering enough moisture for you to wash your hands and rinse dishes, but won’t let litres of water run down the drain.

Use old water for watering plants or dog’s water bowls

Do you ever wake up with a glass of water on your bedside table that sat overnight and now tastes a little odd? Don’t just chuck it, either water your plants or top up your dog’s water bowl with it – he won’t mind the taste!

Always run a full washing machine and dishwasher

These machines are designed to be water-efficient – when used properly. Make sure that you run a full load and when it comes to your dishwasher, don’t rinse your plates before stacking them as this wastes water. Simply make sure that all bits of food have been well-scraped and your dishes will come out nice and clean. Also, make sure that your filter is cleared of any gunk and that you rinse with salt every so often so that your dishwasher stays nice and clean and you don’t have to waste more water re-washing.

Did you know… In South Africa a family of four can use anything between 300 and 800 litres of water in the home per day, whereas in some countries people use as little as  25 litres of water per person. Always be mindful of your water usage and think about how you can reduce. Source www.waterwise.co.za

Water your garden wisely

Sprinklers and hosepipes are now banned and you’re only allowed to water your garden with a bucket in the evening. So, instead of using water from the tap to do this, collect water from half drunk glasses, your shower and bath and to water your plants and gardens. Mulch the soil around your beds as this helps hold water or longer, lessening the need to water. Water your garden when it’s coolest in the late evening to prevent evaporation.

If you order a glass of water, make sure you drink it

Some restaurants can throw up to 10 litres of water a night out as a result of guests ordering a glass of water and then not drinking it. And yes, the onus is on the restaurant to recycle that water as much as they reasonably can, but other than watering their plants, how else can they use a half-drunk glass of water? Instead, be sure to drink all your water, or don’t ask for a glass unless you’re certain you’re going to drink it. In the same way, if a waiter simply brings you a glass, tell them you’re not going to drink it and they can recycle it wisely.

“If it’s yellow, let it mellow”

Let’s be honest, this one may be a little icky but it does certainly make a difference. Depending on how modern your toilet is, a flush can use anywhere between 6 and 14 litres of water. The average person uses about 35 litres of water a day simply in the loo. If you’re at home, maybe skip the odd flush here or there.

For more handy tips and information about waterwise gardening visit waterwise.co.za