Do your bit! 9 easy ways to save water in your home


Water shortages in SA are serious, and level 3 restrictions have been implemented in Cape Town and Joburg to help conserve the precious resource. This means residents could be fined for things like watering their gardens or washing cars or driveways with a hosepipe. Read more about the strict new rules for Cape Town here and Joburg here. WHY ISN'T THERE ENOUGH WATER?

Rainfall in South Africa is spread unevenly. The eastern areas near the warm ocean currents are a lot wetter than the western parts such as the Karoo. South Africa also experiences varying periods of drought or flood, and this influences the availability of water across the country. Hot, dry conditions lead to more evaporation. water graph


South Africa’s water resources are scarce. The total flow of our rivers is about 49 200 million m³ a year. That’s less than half the flow of the closest large river, the Zambezi, which starts in Zambia. South Africa’s inland water resources include 22 major rivers, 165 large storage dams, more than 4 000 medium and small dams on public and private land as well as hundreds of small rivers. That sounds like a lot but these sources of fresh water are often spoiled by pollution and destruction of natural catchment areas because of urbanisation, deforestation, damming, destruction of wetlands, as well as industrial, mining and agricultural activities. WATERSAVING TIPS

1 To prevent evaporation water lawns and gardens early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature and wind speed are at their lowest.

Repair leaking taps by replacing washers.

3 Don’t flush the toilet unnecessarily. Reduce the amount of water in older toilets especially by putting a brick in the cistern.

4 Shower instead of bathing. Use shower heads that eject a maximum of 10 litres of water a minute.

5 Don’t leave water running when brushing your teeth or shaving.

6 Buy an efficient washing machine that uses less water and 40 to 50 per cent less power. To save water and electricity use the washing machine only when you’ve collected a full bundle of washing.

7 To trace water leaks take a reading from your water meter. Close all the taps and take another reading two hours later. Keep the taps closed during this period. If there’s a leaking pipe the reading on your water meter will be higher.

8 Keep a bottle of cold water in the fridge rather than letting tap water run until it’s cold enough to drink.

9 Suggest your parents insulate the hot-water pipes and geyser. Buy a special blanket that can be wrapped around the geyser.

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