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10 out-of-the-box ideas to save water


Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

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The date for Day Zero may have been moved out but the fact remains – we’re in a severe water crisis. Capetonians are experiencing level 6B water restrictions, limiting them to only 50 litres of water per day (or less), and level 1 water restrictions in force in Johannesburg.

Despite these restrictions and the endless awareness around water shortages, we still tend to view the impending water catastrophe as a distant reality. This thinking has unfortunately led to many South Africans taking alarmingly little notice of the water crisis but with absolutely critical dam levels and the very real risk of Cape Town becoming the first major city in the world to run completely dry, the time has come for serious concern and immediate action.

The hashtags that have been making the rounds on social media need to live beyond the digital realm. #SaveWater and #EveryDropCounts should become a way of life – for all South Africans.

With this in mind, Budget Insurance offers these creative but practical ideas for saving water:

  1. Combine household chores – washing your clothes can help you wash your floors. Firstly, wait until you have a full load before doing a cycle in the washing machine. Then, use the resulting grey, soapy water to clean your floors. Doing these simple things will save you about 15 litres of water.
  2. Keep up with innovation on social media – keep an eye out for new ways to save water, like the one in this video clip.
  3. Check, check and check again for leaks – a leak of just one drop per second can waste close to 1 000 litres of water a month so careful checking for leaks is imperative. Inspect all taps and pipes, including those attached to the toilet. If no water is being used and your water meter keeps running, there is a leak. Make sure to report any leaks that aren’t on your property to the authorities – working together will help us all save more water.
  4. Get aerated – attaching aerators to the ends of taps limits splashing. While it will seem like you’re using the same amount of water, you’re actually using less.
  5. Think inside the bog – place a sealed plastic bottle filled with sand in your toilet’s cistern. Be sure to place it away from the working mechanisms of the toilet. This will help decrease the amount of water used per flush. And of course, try to only flush when absolutely necessary.
  6. Put a lid on it – cover pots and pans when cooking. This keeps water from evaporating and uses less energy to bring food to a boil.
  7. Be thaw-t-ful – rather use the fridge to thaw food, within a couple of hours, than using water to do so.
  8. Not all bathrooms are created equally – there are devices like taps, showerheads and even toilets that use less water to do the same job. These could save you up to 50% in water and money. Investigate these as alternative options.
  9. Warm up wisely – insulating water pipes limits wastage while waiting for water to heat up. This limits the amount of heat that escapes from water, which is in the pipe between the geyser and tap when the tap isn’t in use.
  10. Be pool cool – invest in a pool cover, reduce the temperature of your pool and switch off all but the essential pumps that keep the water moving to limit evaporation. Limit pool pump usage to nighttime.