7 ways to save water

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South Africa is a water-scarce country, with many areas battling a severe and prolonged drought. Wherever you are in the country, it’s worth doing all you can to save as much of this precious resource as possible. Here’s a look at seven water-saving strategies to integrate into your daily life.

1. Stick to short showers. Jumping into the shower instead of the bath can save many litres of water – but only if you keep it snappy. A two-minute shower uses about 20 litres of water.

2. Collect water for reuse. Keep a bucket in your shower to collect water while you wait for it to warm up – and to collect the runoff while you shower. You can use this water to flush your toilets, water your pot plants or clean an outdoor area.

3. Flush less. Each flush uses about 9 litres of water, so remember the old adage “If it’s yellow, let it mellow’ and only flush when necessary. If you’re concerned about odour, pick up a toilet water neutralising spray next time you’re at the shops.

4. Turn off the tap. Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth or wash your hands – get into the habit of turning it off right away.

5. Run full loads. Try to ensure you have a full load before running your dishwasher or washing machine.

6. Check for leaks. Make sure that you fix any leaky pipes, taps or toilets in your home – according to the City of Cape Town, a dripping tap can waste up to 30 litres of water an hour.

7. Choose indigenous plants. Include more water-wise and indigenous plants in your garden, and be sure to mulch to retain moisture.

If you’d like to get an idea of how much water your daily activities consume, have a look at the City of Cape Town’s water calculator here.

Sources: coct.co, forbes.com, westerncape.gov.za