#BeWaterWise: Cape hotels get creative as city's water levels dip below 39%


Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has confirmed that water levels are in fact worse than initially thought, because of the difficulty in extracting the last 10% of water in dams.

Dam levels dropped to 39.2% on Monday, a decrease of 1.3% from last week - Capetonians are said to consumed an average of 807 million litres per day, 7 million liters more than the 800 million litres target.

However many Capetonians are resorting to creative methods when it comes to saving water - as is the case with Townhouse Hotel on the corner of Mostert and Corporation streets, who are helping to save water by recycling shower water used by hotel guests.      

As the brainchild of GM Jacqueline Williams, she says, "Capetonians in the CBD may have noticed men and women watering plants on traffic islands with buckets."

These are the staff members who are in fact reusing the hotels grey water.

The hotel says between 21 and 26 January, 81 buckets full of grey water were distributed between the Townhouse’s small front area, the pavement trees and plants on traffic islands near the hotel.

(Photo: supplied)

Williams says, “I was driving home one afternoon and I heard someone on the radio mention that she showers with a bucket to catch water and then recycles it in her garden. My husband laughed when I asked him to buy me buckets but two weeks later he commented on how much our family had been able to collect. That was when I thought about the impact we’d have if we involved the Townhouse Hotel guests and staff in a similar initiative.”

After some design work and bucket-buying, all 107 rooms now have a bucket and a room card explaining what it is for, how to use it and where the water will be recycled. Williams says that guests are enthusiastic about the programme. “We’ve even had a few suggestions from guests on how to maximize our efforts,” says Williams. 

“We are committed to eco-friendly systems and practices,” says Williams, “and the shower-bucket project is a visible illustration of these values.”

SEE: #BeWaterwise: Severe action to be taken against top-tier water offenders

Williams is hoping the shower buckets will prompt staff to institute similar initiatives at home and in their communities. “Although housekeeping cleans the rooms and collects the shower water, the whole hotel participates in watering the gardens,” she says.

“We also hope that others in the hospitality industry, who hear about the efforts of our team and our guests, will do their bit to save water during the drought and going forward.”

Traveller24 also previously reported another unique instance where Dongola Guest House  let guests know that in order to stem the serious drought conditions in the Western Cape it had taken the decision to remove all taps from its baths.

Instead of a bath, guests were offered a free wine-tasting at the historic Groot Constantia, located five-minutes away from Dongola.  

SEE: Weather Update: Extremely high fire dangers expected as dam levels continue to drop

Want to know how much water you should be saving?

See this map that allows you to check the status of your province and your local dams. This data is provided by the Department of Water and Sanitation.   

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