Water Wise – Water Conservation and avoiding Day Zero
Water Conservation and avoiding Day Zero
As Day Zero fast approaches, we all need to be more water wise during this drought in Cape Town. It’s all about water conservation techniques that can help everyone stay within Cape Town water restrictions during the Cape Town water shortage.
The effects of the Cape Town water crisis 2018 can be minimised if we all band together instead of watching Cape Town running out of water.
Let’s do all we can to avoid Cape Town Day Zero and the water crisis until the rains return, breaking this long Cape drought.
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Since my ‘Cape Town Water Crisis 2018’ video, people have been asking me to make a few more. More specifically, videos on being water wise, and effective water conservation during the Cape Town drought. If you want to learn some techniques that will help in any drought, and to avoid ‘Cape Town Day Zero’, then this new video is for you.
Hey , my name is Jo, and I live in Cape Town. If all Capetonians conserve the amount of water they use, it will help tremendously. If we implement some new ideas to an old challenge, we can make a serious change in a somewhat dire situation.
By the way, this video is not only for those in drought-stricken areas. This is for everyone. The planet has the same amount of water at any given time, but the supply shifts around Mama Nature’s whim. However, clean water is quite another story. The artificial process we utilise to purify water is not always environmentally friendly.
Before I continue, I urge you all to read, Recycled Thoughts. It’s a free electronic download and it sheds more light on some of the issues outlined here. The link do the electronic book is available in the description below.
The most important factor is to reduce the amount of tap water being lost down the drain. We need to find ways to pour water back into the soil and keep it on land. In coastal towns, grey water and even sewage is piped out into the sea. I know, it’s really gross, but there you have it. Therefore, the less water we lose in this manner, the less the water table drops.
When there is good rainfall, we don’t need to be quite as extreme as I am suggesting. As an architect, let me remind everyone that sewers need a certain amount of water flow, or they become blocked over time. That will really kick up stink. Right now, let’s not worry about that, but rather concern ourselves with the diminishing water supply.
To be absolutely clear, you must not try to recover sewage water. In other words, don’t attempt to take water out the toilet bowl. Even if it looks clean. We do not want a disease epidemic. We merely want to intercept what is termed ‘grey water’, before it becomes contaminated by the sewers.
Grey water is what flows down the drain from your bathroom basin and kitchen sink. At worst, it’s no more than water laden with detergent. We want to redirect water traffic, so to speak. If we capture this grey water, we can use it to flush our loos instead of relying on spring fresh water from the mains.
One of the biggest daily uses of water is the shower or bathtub. Ordinarily, all of this is simply flushed down and into the sewer. If you shower, please click on the link in the description for an article outlining how you can effectively collect most of your shower water with buckets. I now use three of them in my shower.
Your bath water can also be saved and every time you need to flush, scoop out a bucket. This can be a messy business until you get the hang of it. I prefer shower water as it’s already in the bucket. It’s more hygienic than letting filthy water sit in the bath too.
You should also take very quick showers. Get in, get wet, soap up your hair, and turn off the water. Wash your body, and then turn the water back on to do your final rinse. When the water is running, keep the buckets around you to catch most of that soapy water.
I find that one in front and behind provides the best result. If you are waiting for the hot water to arrive, hold up one of the buckets to the showerhead to catch all that clean water. You can use that cleaner water for your last flush of the evening.
I only flush the loo with fresh water if I don’t have enough water from the bath or shower. This is a huge water saving during drought. I’m taking really short showers these days, so I don’t always retain enough water for the loo. With the water running out, I flush less often. As the awful saying goes, if it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, just let it mellow.
Now, for the smaller water saving tips. It all adds up if we work together.
Do you have pets? At the end of the day, don’t throw out their water. Reuse that stale water for watering your veggie garden, or any plant that has not yet perished from the drought.
Did you leave out a glass of water without finishing it? Once again, use it for watering or at least pour it back into the soil so that it can be naturally recycled or evaporated. Even tea and coffee can be tossed out over the lawn, although, do be careful what you use on sensitive plants.
When you wash your face or your hands, place a bowl in the sink to retain the grey water. Instead of letting the water gush down the drain, practice cupping your hands under a thin trickle until full, and then wash. This can literally save litres of water a day.
Alternatively, wash your hands in the kitchen sink over the dirty dishes. This helps to soak and prewash them so that you need less clean water later. It also makes it easier to wash them. Reuse your glass or mug, and only wash dishes once a day.
If you are just rinsing your hands, keep a small but broad container under the tap. At the end of the day, you can also recycle this water to use for flushing, and watering plants.
It’s also a good idea is to place a smaller basin in a large kitchen sink to reduce the amount of water needed to wash the dishes. Some of the older sinks had really large basins. Use this final rinse water from the basin either to wash other things that don’t need clean water, or again to water your garden. There is very little detergent in the final rinse water, and if you spread it out evenly, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Do you have a birdbath? The thirsty tweeters also need a drink. Don’t fill the bowl more than halfway because the rest rapidly evaporates in the day’s heat. Only place water in the birdbath very early in the morning or late afternoon, after it has cooled down from the day’s heat.
If you are using ice for cooling, use sealed ice blocks where possible. They are reusable, and no water is lost. I balance sealed ice blocks on the back of my fan during a heat wave.
There are many other ways to conserve water, but the most pressing issue is to prevent water loss. Think of additional steps you can implement in your daily life, and you will see just how much water can actually be saved.
The reason Cape Town is experiencing water shortages is largely political, but how we emerge from this challenge will depend on how we proceed. Let’s all be more water wise, and avoid Day Zero.
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Thank you so much for watching, and being a positive force during this drought.
You might also want to watch, Cape Town Drought: The Truth Behind the Water Crisis.
Shower Water Article: http://blog.joroderick.com/2016/07/shower-water-reclamation/
FREE Recycled Thoughts e-Book: https://www.books2read.com/recycle
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