March 22nd is World Water Day, a day which highlights the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene and sustainable development.
With the Western Cape in its third year of drought, now, more than ever, is a perfect time to re-examine or reiterate what people can do to minimise water usage in their sectional title unit. Even though, unlike full title or freehold property ownerships, you might not have a garden or pool, there are plenty of other ways that water is wasted in the household, usually centres squarely on plumbing.
Both tourists and citizens in the Western Cape may only use a total of 50 litres per day. This includes showering, cooking and washing of clothes and dishes. Municipal water is also only to be used indoors.
5 ways to save water in a sectional title unit
- Use a bucket when you shower
This may seem strange at first, but should become a completely adaptable habit and way of life. Having one or more buckets in your shower is incredibly useful for catching grey water and can be put to good use in other parts of the house.
NO baths! This should be a well-known fact by now. However, it is clear that some citizens are still turning a backward glance to this essential rule. One single bath can take up as much as 80 litres of water, depending on the size of the bath.
- Use ‘warm up water’ for dishes
You know when you first put the shower on and the water is anything but pleasing to stand in? This ‘warm up water’ can be used to wash dishes – putting perfect use to otherwise completely clean water. This water can also be used in other washing devices such as your washing machine.
- If it’s yellow let it mellow
If it’s yellow let it mellow – if it’s brown flush it down. While this may seem horrifying, it is an essential practice to assist with preserving water levels. Purchase a loo deodoriser to give the bathroom a pleasing aroma. Toilet paper can also be thrown into a bin instead of the loo.
- Fix all leaks
Unattended leaks in your home could be the cause of extreme water wastage. A leaky kitchen sink can fill up an entire basin in a night, so imagine just how much water is wasted if leaks carry on leaking. Check all toilets and taps to make sure there are no leaks and water wastage.
You can also install water-efficient devices on showerheads and taps to control the water pressure and avoid further wastage.
- Grey water usage
Water from the shower can be put to many uses. Simply place the water pipe of your washing machine into a bucket while in washing mode to catch water. Toilet cisterns can also be filled up with grey water as it is completely unnecessary to use clean municipal water to flush a toilet. Simply remove the top lid and fill the cistern until the float reaches the top.
Saving water shouldn’t be a choice, it is a must and essential to maintaining sustainable water resources and of course, eliminating ‘Day Zero’ altogether. By implementing simple practices in our homes, no matter the size of our homes we can ensure the sustainable management and full access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities – everything that World Water Day stands for and strives to maintain for future generations.
No one is exempt from the sustainable management of fresh water resources and it is up to us all to ensure that the City of Cape Town does not become the first city in the world to ever run out of water. Consideration and care is essential to ensure that all citizens have adequate access to water – the most essential resource of all.