South Africans, and Capetonians in particular, were recently asked by the City Of Cape Town to cut down their water usage due to drought and dry conditions. While the rest of the country is entering their rainy season now, the Western Cape will not expect rain until next autumn.
So there is a very real worry that our dams will be depleted to dangerous levels by the end of what promises to be a very hot summer, according to News24.
The amount of water used in the city has decreased since mid-November, but officials are hoping for a drop in litres used daily - from 854 million to less than 800 million litres per day.
So how exactly do we do that?
Well, those with gardens have already switched off sprinkler systems, and there's no more filling up the swimming pool. But even if you don't have a pool or a big garden, there are a couple of small, but effective things you can do to minimise your water consumption.
Get a shower bucket
Instead of letting water just go down the drain when you’re waiting for your shower to warm up, use a bucket to catch the water you’re not using. Then use this water to water your house plants or your garden or even use it to flush the toilet.
Don’t take long showers
Shower, instead of bath as often as you can. And limit your showers. Do you really need to be in there for 20 minutes? I’m pretty sure you’re clean after 10.
Re-use any water you can
If you really have to bath, then let that water cool down and re use it to water plants, or do what hand-washing you need to do.
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
If you’re one of those people who lets the water run while you brush your teeth, STOP IT. STOP IT NOW. Close the tap and only open it when you’re actually rinsing your mouth and brush. All that water just running down the drain could be used much better.
If it’s yellow, let it mellow...
...and if it’s brown flush it down. Okay, stop making that face. We’re not saying you have to do this, but we’re saying you can. It’s not actually as gross as you think and there aren’t any health risks as urine is sterile.
Fix any small leaks you may have
Go DIY (be careful though), or call a plumber, but get that leak fixed! It could save you a lot of money. Yes, even that small leak from your bathroom tap.
Use an eco-friendly car wash
If you like your car to have that shine, then choose a car wash that recycles their water.
Fully load that dishwasher or washing machine
Running your dishwasher or washing machine when they’re half empty is really just a waste and can really add up. Also, be sure to set your washing machine to the eco setting.
Check out this video from News24 for more water saving tips