Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. - W.H. Auden
I don't know of someone in my circle of friends not praying for rain. We are facing a serious drought due to poor rainfall during winter. The demand for water keep increasing due to the Western Cape's growing population. That, with our nonchalant attitude towards this crisis we are facing, is a scary thought!
During the last couple of days a few drops of rain fell over certain areas in the Western and Northern Cape. And what a blessing...but still our dams remain at below 40% full capacity. Everyone should do their part in saving water. Even if it is uncomfortable, inconvenient and just plain effort. And I'm preaching to myself here! I searched high and low on the internet and found the following ways of saving water in your home the most do-able:
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.
- Take a shorter shower. Or even better: Turn off the water when you apply soap (especially shampoo and conditioner ladies!). We do not have to massage our heads with the water flowing!
- Put a bucket in the shower and use the water in catches to water the garden or the fill the toilet tank.
- Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher – this cuts out unnecessary washes in between.
- Fix a dripping tap. A dripping tap can waste 15 liters of water a day!
- Fill a jug with tap water and place this in your fridge. This will mean you do not have to leave the cold tap running for the water to run cold before you fill your glass.
- Invest in water-efficient goods when you need to replace household products. You can now buy water-efficient shower-heads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and many other water-saving products.
- Strain the food that you cook in water into a bucket. The starchy water from pasta, potatoes, corn, etc. are good for your veggie patch.
- This one I learnt from my mother-in-law: Simplify your garden. Pull out the plants that have run their course and are just sucking up valuable water from the ones that are still producing. Take out the plants that use more water and prune your trees.
- Use mulch, like straw or wood chips, to cover the soil around your veggies. This will help keep moisture from evaporating.
- And if you feel adventurous: Link pipes to your bath/shower outlets, let the grey water flow into a portable water tank. Use this water to water the garden! OK, I make it sound super simple...maybe not. See JoJo Tank's website for more information.
South Africa is really standing together the last couple of weeks as media and businesses are driving initiatives to encourage people to save water. Smile 90.4FM has started a Public Group on Facebook which serves as a platform where people who are serious about water saving can take the pledge to make every drop count in their own households. Already 5000 people joined the group!
Our beloved Dear Rae also took a stand with a "Saving Water Awareness Competition". It was an instagram competition where they encouraged their followers to comment what they are doing to save water. The one with the best water saving advice won a gorgeous pendant for him/her and a friend. How great!!!
This is only 2 examples of South Africans taking responsibility! If this doesn't inspire you...what will?