Watch how you waste water

2016-01-26 06:00

The Rondebosch Community Improvement District (RCID) reminds residents to take note of the water restrictions on how to go about watering their gardens.

RCID says many residents are still allowing their automated irrigation systems to run at any hour. Watering is only allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays before 09:00 and after 16:00, for an hour at a time.

Shirley Aldum, RCID manager, is asking home owners to make sure that their gardeners are aware of the guidelines too.

“Washing of cars with hoses is not permitted and nor is hosing down hard surfaces or piles of building sand. In order to avoid a much higher water bill every month, we are required to use 10% less water than we were using last year,” she says.

One resident, Isabella Hayden, has suggested ways to save water:

. Collect used water from your bath, shower and kitchen. Keep a bucket or basin in the shower or kitchen sink to collect water while you are waiting for it to run hot or when washing fruit and vegetables, and use that to water your plants.

. Collect grey water (i.e. soapy water) and use it to flush the toilet, instead of wasting potable water. One large bucketful is sufficient to flush a toilet. Keep a plastic basin in your kitchen sink for rinsing and washing dishes.

. Shower instead of running a bath. Showering uses less water, and you can turn off the water while you are soaping yourself.

. Cook your vegetables without salt, and save the cooking water. When it is cool, dilute it with the same amount of water or more, and use it on your plants. Vitamins are good for plants too.

. If you have a garden, do not disturb the soil at this time of year (e.g. by digging) as it dries it out. Water deeply at the appointed times, then apply a layer of compost around each plant, and on top of that apply a layer of mulch. Do not layer thicker than 7cm in total as that could prevent water from penetrating to the roots when next you water.

. Water deeply, less often. Shallow watering is a waste – it trains roots to grow upwards towards the water, and then they are much more vulnerable to the sun’s heat.

. Take note of which plants are drooping from thirst – consider removing these and replacing them in autumn with plants that are more hardy.

. Succulents and drought-resistant plants are the way to go when shopping again.

. The current water restrictions are not likely to be removed, and it is even less likely that the price of water will come down again, even after good rains. So we have to adapt and learn a new way of gardening.

. Fix dripping geysers and leaking taps.

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