Water is a critical part of our environment, our economy and our daily lives, and in KZN, it is running out. There are lots of simple things that you can do to reduce the amount of water that your use, both inside and outside the house.
- In the kitchen, collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Then use it to water your indoor plants.
- Don’t use running water to thaw food. Rather defrost food by taking it out of the freezer earlier and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap each time you want to drink water. We often let the water run for a few seconds to allow the “warm” water in the pipes flow through.
- Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Run the dishwasher only when full to save water and energy.
- Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor or toothbrush.
- Take a (short) shower instead of a bath. A bathtub can use up to 150 liters of water. If you can, install low-flow showerheads and turn off the water while washing your hair.
- Put a bucket in the shower and use the collected water to water your garden.
- Shower together!
- Water your garden early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
- Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the roots insulated. Farmyard Organics’ mulch will also help inhibit plant disease and prevent weeds.
- For your garden, if you are thinking of irrigating, drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to a plant’s roots, reducing the evaporation that occurs with spray watering systems. Timers can be used to schedule watering for the cooler parts of the day, further reducing water loss.
- There is no way of knowing how long this drought will last. With this in mind, plant drought-resistant trees and plants.
- Install rainwater storage tanks or any other water capturing equipment. Collecting rainwater will not solve all of our water problems (especially when there is no rain water to collect), but it is a step in the right direction and an important investment for future dry periods.
- We may be headed towards periods of “water shedding”. If this happens, the 750l Slimline Buffer Tank (by JoJo tank) is a solution. This tank is connected in line with your main water line and fills up with water whenever you turn your tap on. When there is a water outage, you will have up to 750l of water saved up… enough to keep a family of four going for 48 hours.
- Wash cars with a bucket and sponge, and rinse with self-closing nozzle.
- Use a broom, instead of a hose pipe to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios.