#WaterCrisis ideas and tips from News24 readers

2018-01-31 13:57

News24 users have flooded our inbox with #WaterCrisis tips, ideas and potential solutions. Get some creative water saving inspiration from your fellow readers here!

Do you want to submit your idea? Find out how here.

Please note that the content posted here has been independently written by members of News24's community. The ideas and tips of users published below are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. They have not been independently tested and verified and we cannot vouch for them. 

This article will be updated daily with new content so be sure to check back for more


Jump to

Last Updated at 19:16
05 Mar 08:23

Jose da Silva shared a video he made explaining how one can treat underground water, in a non-potable sense, in order to use it in the pool, toilets, washing machine and showering.

"This ensures that minimal amount of municipal water is used and helps us combat the water crisis" says Jose.

05 Mar 08:19
"How about a law that forces developers to include a water tank as standard with every new house built?" - Yvonne

28 Feb 09:26
"Instead of using normal towels, use the kids character towels, e.g. Disney etc. They are smaller and lighter and so take less space in washing machine. They also dry faster on towel rack and so smell fresher for longer. But they are great at sucking up water once broken in. Second one: if you live in a double-story, use a hose and gravity to empty the bath instead of carrying buckets. You just fasten hose on bottom of bath with a bath mat that has suckers, drop hose out of window and suck briefly on other end. The gravity and vacuum will pull water down until bath empty." - Wolfe Braude, Durban

28 Feb 09:25
"Use less water to flush. A lesson from the Philippines. When visiting the Philippines we had to put all toilet paper in a bin next to the toilet.  They save a lot of water by not having to flush paper all the way to sewerage plant." - Leon Steyl

28 Feb 09:22

28 Feb 09:20

Finding opportunity in the water crisis

The rise of cities since the 1960s has been extraordinary. But these cities are only possible because of sewage management, bulk water, energy and food supply, and waste removal. Since cities are built on the idea of bulk supply only, they remove the responsibility of all to live ecologically.

21 Feb 09:01

21 Feb 08:59

#DayZero: Cape Town buys one more month

Cape Town - Day Zero - when the taps run dry in Cape Town - has been moved back yet again, the city announced on Tuesday. "Day Zero, the day we may have to start queuing for water, has now moved to 9 July due to a weekly drop in dam levels of only 0.5% (as compared to a 1.9% drop in 2014)," Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson said in a statement.

19 Feb 08:29

"Growing up we often had challenges with constant supply of water to meet the needs of about 10-15 people in a household. So, here are some practical methods that helped:  

1) use two bowls: one for washing and another for rinsing dishes. Starting off with glasses, proceeding with cutlery and finishing off with pots.

2) Properly drain water used for cleaning dishes using a sieve into a bucket for flushing.

3) Minimise mopping floors to once or twice a week but sweeping/vacuuming when necessary.

4) The main target is the bathroom and toilet in the home. Conscious efforts should be made to re-use water for flushing always.

5) Rationing the quantity of water to perhaps a cup for brushing of teeth/washing of face does the trick.

6) Swap machine wash for hand-wash laundry. As with the dishes,  start off with whites and proceed with colour clothing, and end with colour fast. Repeat same process with rinsing while storing the water at each stage.

7) Unused water could used for cleaning the bathroom but stored for flushing the toilet." - Becky Niba

18 Feb 12:48

18 Feb 12:47

18 Feb 12:47

18 Feb 12:47

16 Feb 13:29
"I recently departed South Africa from Cape Town International Airport, and was interested to see all the departing international tourists queuing up for VAT refunds, no doubt after great vacations (on a discounted rand) and after “consuming” copious amounts of our precious water. Should we not invite these cost conscious jet setters to make a voluntary contribution to alleviating our water woes, by donating a portion of their VAT refunds to water supply projects.    After all it is the residents of the Western Cape who will have to bear the brunt of the drought , and associated water usage restrictions, in the long term." - Mike Robinson

16 Feb 13:26

#SAWaterCrisis: Gauteng warned of water wastage

Cape Town - As Capetonians focus on reducing their water consumption to avoid Day Zero - set for 4 June - other provinces across South Africa are bracing for unpredictable weather conditions in 2018. With three provinces declared drought disasters, rapidly dropping water levels and water wastage in places is a stark reality.

16 Feb 13:25

#WaterCrisis: 9 Cities also inching closer to their own #DayZero

Gabi Zietsman Cape Town - Cape Town isn't the only city with water problems. Water scarcity and resource mismanagement is a worldwide problem and many studies point towards global fresh water demand exceeding supply in the near future.

13 Feb 13:12

#DayZero pushed back to June, as drought declared a national disaster

Cape Town - Day Zero - the day that taps will run dry for residents - for Capetonians has now been extended to June 4 from May 11, 2018. The delay in Day Zero has been attributed to the continued decline in agricultural usage and Capetonians reducing their water usage, said deputy mayor Ian Neilson.

12 Feb 09:51
Please note that the content posted here has been independently written by members of News24's community. The ideas and tips of users published below are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.This article will be updated daily with new content so be sure to check back for more!

12 Feb 09:50

Here’s how to report noncompliance with water restrictions:

Call 0860 103 089 (choose the "water related faults" option)

Send an email to water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za

SMS 31373 (max of 160 characters)

12 Feb 09:48

#WaterCrisis UPDATE: Watertight strategies for Cape events, Pool damage headaches uncovered, WP club rugby postponed

Cape Town - Drought-stricken Cape Town experienced some much needed rainfall on Friday night, 09 February, and Twitter was abuzz with memes, photos and videos depicting the showers across the city. Click here to see what was shared. ALSO SEE: WATCH: Time-lapse of Cape Town's approaching rain is beautiful!

12 Feb 09:44
"All modern geysers have pressure regulators that will allow cold water to escape during heating cycle. Locate your overflow outlet and re-route to container. It is possible to collect up to eight litres per day." - Ike Herring

12 Feb 09:42
"I understand that fresh water from the Congo river can be found @ +40kms out in the Atlantic Ocean. Use Sea Tankers to harvest this source. Satellite can identify purest areas. On board purification plant can process the water whilst en-route. Not certain what the implications of the ITW would be, but could possibly obtain the water free of charge?" - Dave,  Paarl

12 Feb 09:41
"Get the Railways to take rail tanker loads full raw unsanitized river/dam water to the Cape. The Cape Municipalities still have the ability to sanitize the water and its easier and cheaper to obtain raw river water. It can be pumped from various fresh water sources like lagoons, lakes, dams, rivers or vleilands anywhere where a railway line is near, or crosses, a water source throughout the Country. If the railways doesn't have enough tanker wagons, get water lorries from the army and private sector and place them onto flatbed railway wagons. Get the army to assist with the filling of the tankers. They have the equipment and manpower. When offloading the water it can be channeled or pumped directly to the cape reservoir dams or water works for processing from a convenient railway location or siding." - Nic van der Westhuizen

12 Feb 09:39
"In order for us to continue a sustained fight against any water crisis now and in the future, we should all aim to shift to a more plant-based food lifestyle. This is one way of ensuring that our kids will have water to drink in generations to come.The production of all animal products that we consume, from meat to dairy, all require huge resources of water, land and energy. It is significantly larger than what is required for plant food such as fruits, vegetables, legumes etc. If we start to interrogate our food choice, we'll soon understand the impact that these have on the sustainability of our country's resources." - Lonwabo Mgoduso

08 Feb 12:45
"Just an idea: On Discovery vitality rewards – to add a 5 litre of water to the Cape Town crisis   Hope they consider it." - Debbie Skopelitis

08 Feb 11:46

08 Feb 09:37
"Use top loader washing machines, select wash only and remove clothes to a bucket for rinsing and another for fabric softening. In that way one can wash a few batches of clothes starting with the white garments." - Balelang Sibiya

08 Feb 08:39

This whole family of 4 + their 3 pets only use 49 Litres of water for the day! Here's how...

Cape Town - Locals and visitors alike are doing their best to save water and stem the impending Day Zero now set for 11 May. In Tanja Spykerman's household, using less than 50 litres of water per person per day - as required by Cape Town's Level 6b water restrictions - is a breeze!

08 Feb 08:21
"Day Zero draws neigh and still not taken seriously enough by many.   When it arrives people will not be sufficiently prepared and the water point stations inexperienced.   Why wait for the unknown when we can practice and adjust the plan in advance?   Announce a two day shut down in HALF of the area for two weeks’ time and man water points there.   Then the follow week shut down two days in the other half.   We are all talking but not yet DOING . Lets get practical and see how we build community and city cooperation so we push back day zero by holding meaningful rehearsals." - Peter Schuster

08 Feb 08:20
"The airlines and/or rental car providers could levy all incoming travellers with the cost of a bottle of water on arrival. Accommodation places could charge a once-off water levy on their bookings. The couple in the cottage next to mine this weekend ran their shower for a LOT longer than 2 minutes. All levies to be put towards bringing in additional water or improving water catchment/storage. Vineyards should match their wine bottle sales by selling an equal volume of bottled water to be donated; it’s not much more expensive if visitors can afford to buy the wine already. Restaurants can do the same for beer and cocktail sales.   Find creative ways to reuse all those empty plastic containers - ship them back up to donating cities to be refilled; somehow use them as building materials for low cost housing. Build dams and water tanks with bottle ‘bricks’." - Paul & Joanne Johnston

07 Feb 16:58

"Would it be possible for areas that aren't affected like Durban which has experienced quite a lot of rain and will have JoJO tanks in full capacity donate their stored water? Maybe these tanks can be emptied by municipality and transported to Cape Town. Is it possible to have celebrities or local artists stage concerts, comedy shows etc, and charge patrons litres of water as opposed to actual money, then all the water can be  collected and delivered to CPT.  

I live in the prospecton area of Durban and we have experienced torrential rain, hail and excessive flooding. Could the KZN municipality erect JoJo Tanks just for the purpose of serving regions like CPT who are experiencing a water crisis. These can be installed in public or private properties."  - Jamie Murugan 

07 Feb 16:56

#CapeWaterCrisis: Pool damage headaches uncovered

iStock Cape Town's Day Zero is fast approaching, now expected on 11 May 2018. The heat of summer is sinking the city's dam levels along with the swimming pools of hotels and residents alike. What are the long-term implications though? Many are wondering what their insurance will and will not cover when we reach this day-that-shall-not-be-named.

07 Feb 11:23

#CapeWaterCrisis: What travellers need to know about visiting during the drought

Cape Town - 'Day Zero' being pushed to May is far from any cause for celebration as the Mother City's residents, visitors and businesses continue to feel the consequences of the drought. Many individuals are doing what they can to save water and stick to the restrictions.

07 Feb 10:19
"Why are we not hiring huge ocean tankers with potable water to see  out the drought? Cape Town has a harbour to handle the size ships I’m talking about. It would be much cheaper than desalination plants." - Mark Ransome

07 Feb 09:46

07 Feb 09:33

#WaterCrisis UPDATE: Mindful tourism, Only 10 springs tested safe for drinking, God is angry with Cape Town

Cape Town - As Capetonians increase their efforts to save more water, we find out that only 10 out of 80 springs across the city have been tested as safe for drinking. These are some of the latest water crisis stories you may have missed and need to know about - be sure to stay informed and save water.

06 Feb 18:53

06 Feb 08:25

"Water Saving using inexpensive plastic 220L drums.

The drums can be linked with a 25mm plastic pipe if more water storage capacity is needed.  

The washing machine plastic drum is 100L and the water from the machine is mixed 50/50 with rain water to feed trees and shrubs in the garden, and as grey water." - Mark Algra 

06 Feb 08:13

"I wanted to restrict the rate of water flow out of my taps and shower heads so came up with a plan which took about 30 minutes to complete and did not cost me a cent as I used a pair of scissors and flexible plastic material which I got from my recycling bin.  

Here is what I did:

- I unscrewed the existing water aerators from my taps and shower heads using my fingers;
- I measured and cut flat plastic discs to fit over the aerator;

- once the plastic discs were trimmed to the correct size, I made small holes in each of them (for the taps I made a number of small holes with a sewing needle and for the shower, I cut one small hole in the centre of the disc);
- I then put the plastic disc between the existing aerator and its washer and screwed the fittings back onto each tap and shower head making sure that there were no leaks.  

The end result is that no matter how hard the tap is turned on, the same amount of restricted water flows through." - Paul Dallas,  Melkbosstrand

06 Feb 08:09

#WaterCrisis UPDATE: 'Day Zero' pushed to May, Sanitation risks, How to flush your toilet after 'Day Zero'

Cape Town - Day Zero may have been extended to May, but the #CapeWaterCrisis remains a reality for Capetonians. Follow News24's special report on the water crisis here. These are some of the latest water crisis stories you may have missed - be sure to stay informed and save water.

05 Feb 18:05
"For those with swimming pools: Obtain a small Jo-Jo tank (360 litres) and pipe it so that you can pump your backwash pool water into the top inlet. Connect the bottom outlet of the tank to the pool return pipe from the pump. After backwashing and rinsing, allow a couple of days for the sediment in the water to settle - the water becomes clear. To run the water back in, just switch the pump off and open the bottom valve, this allows the settled water to run back into the pool. Close the valve after clearing the tank ready for your next back wash. No water wastage and it saves a lot on chemicals too." - Tony Radionic

05 Feb 12:44

05 Feb 12:38

#CapeWaterCrisis: Water to 'stay on for commercial centres', exact locations yet to be released

Cape Town - The Joint Association Members Meeting Sessions (JAMMS) hosted a discussion at the CTICC on Friday, 2 February to provide more information and assistance to the tourism industry during the water crisis. There were close to 600 attendees at the JAMMS session to discuss the impact of the drought on the industry which is a vital contributor to the country's economy.

05 Feb 12:38

#CapeWaterCrisis: How will I flush my toilet after 'Day Zero'?

iStock Cape Town - While many Capetonians try by all means to avoid being affected by 'Day Zero', which is set to take place on 16 April, the consequence of the ongoing drought is being weighed on what will happen after the taps run dry. But what happens after Day Zero.

05 Feb 08:47

Here’s how to report noncompliance with water restrictions:

Call 0860 103 089 (choose the "water related faults" option)

Send an email to water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za

SMS 31373 (max of 160 characters)

05 Feb 08:46

Cape Town residents fined for not complying with Level 6B restriction

Cape Town - Cape Town law enforcement officials have issued R4 000 in fines to residents who have failed to comply with the new level 6B water restrictions, which kicked in on Thursday. Under the new restrictions, water consumption is limited to 50 litres per person per day in the hope that Day Zero - the day the taps will be closed - can be avoided.

05 Feb 08:33
"We are a family of 4 and are managing to use an average of 100l a day for the whole family. We are careful with our water use but the main way we are managing to use so little water is by flushing the loo with bath/shower water and washing machine water. We still run the washing machine 4 times a week, run the dishwasher every day / second day and shower/ bath every day (very short and as little water as poss used). But purely by using our grey water from bath and washing machine we have reduced our use substantially. We haven’t had great expense in doing this - just a plastic crate to hold the washing machine water and buckets to transport water around." - Heather, Claremont 

05 Feb 08:28
"Do you know exactly how much water you use when you shower? Everyone’s shower heads are different. Counting seconds in your head is not always accurate, especially when you are using a stop start system. Most people are using large tubs in their showers to catch every last drop of water.  Use a permanent black marker to mark increments of 5 litres on the inside of the tub. This way you can monitor how much is being used. Great for kids to see and easily understand" - Natalie Tudhope

05 Feb 08:25
"We have a top loader washing machine with an easily accessible outlet pipe. We  collect the soapy water for the garden, and the final rinse water we pour into the machine for the next wash. We have been doing this for several months now;  there are 3 adults in the house and we manage on 4kl per month. Very shallow baths on alternate days, clothes worn at least twice, and using the minimum for dishes has also become the norm.  Even hair is washed over the bath, water caught in a bucket and used for the toilet, as is the bath water" - Taylor,  Gordon's Bay.

05 Feb 08:23
"My suggestion is that Transnet get involved in the water crisis by supplying water tankers to railway stations throughout the Cape. This will create additional water point at no cost to the Cape. Residents to be given free tickets to travel to these points to collect water. Transnet could fill these tankers at the nearest town / city where there is ample drinkable water." - Philip Chandler

Jump to


Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.