EDITORIAL: How wise are you really?

2016-01-26 06:00

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Save water! The message over the last couple of months has been clear – some parts of the country are facing a drought and dam levels are low, we need to save water!

In Cape Town the City imposed strict water restrictions, even going as far as promising fines for households and businesses that don’t save at least 20%. The latter has left a bitter taste in many a household, especially those that have been living water wise before the water restrictions were imposed.

If you’re already not opening a tap to water your garden, recycling your bath water into the flowerbeds after the whole family shared the same bath, catching the first few drops of cold shower water in a bucket to use for cleaning the dishes later, keeping the swimming pool just full enough so the pump can run or implementing any of the other creative water savings Capetonians have come up with, then what more can you do to save?

Water wise or not, we don’t realise how much water we use (and let go to waste) on a day-to-day basis until unforeseen circumstances force us to live off only bottled water and our swimming pool (for those lucky enough to have one) for at least a few days.

It’s only once you start counting the litres to fill the sink, boil the kettle, flush the toilet, not to mention use in your daily hygiene routine and for drinking water, that reality sinks in and you realise how much your household consumes – not saving as much as you thought you did.

And then you start thinking of those feeling the drought at its worst, those who have to live out of a bottle for days at a time or those whose permanent living conditions don’t include running water in their homes.

The fact is, water is a precious resource and if we don’t try to save more, we are in line to suffer more.

So next time, before you open a tap, think... And keep living water wise even after the rains have come and the water restrictions have been lifted.

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