Today is World Water Day 2018. Team member Miranda has just returned from a trip to Cape Town, South Africa, where there is a water crisis. Drought conditions and water mismanagement mean that the city is in real danger of running out of water. Strict measures are in place to avert this. Miranda shares some of the ways locals are altering their water usage to live with the 50 liters per person per day recommended maximum usage.
“Water restrictions mean lots of buckets, jugs and water storage containers for grey water. Its amazing how quickly one adapts to a totally different way of water usage.
Showers: Instead of letting clean cold water run down the drain while waiting for it to heat up, we let it run into clean jugs, which we then use in the kitchen.
Once the water is warm, we turn it on and off intermittently, standing over a bucket to catch as much of the run off as possible. This water is used to fill the toilet cisterns.
And talking of toilets… at home and in public places, toilets are only flushed when necessary…
The washing machine hose drains into a large plastic container, and this water is also used for the toilet cisterns. Machines are only run when full and on the shortest possible cycle. Dishwasher hoses are diverted into outside buckets and used to water the gardens.
Many people have installed large containers on their outside gutter downpipes to capture any water after even the lightest shower. Its incredible how much accumulates really quickly.
Measures like these are literally helping to avert the Cape Town Day Zero crisis.”
Conserving water is important wherever we live in the world. One of the easiest ways to do this is when cleaning our teeth. Personal hygiene water usage accounts for over 12% of our homes’ water usage – and leaving the tap open for one minute can waste as much as nine liters.
Turn off the tap: Wet your toothbrush and then turn off the tap while you brush. Only turn it on again to rinse your mouth – and even then, consider using a cup. Filling your hands with water to rinse wastes water too. Shutting off the tap instead of letting it run continuously can save your family up to 10 gallons of water daily.
Aerate Your Faucet: A faucet aerator introduces tiny air bubbles into your faucet’s flow so you use less water overall while brushing your teeth. For the best results, use an aerator with a listed flow rate of 1 gallon per minute or less. Standard bathroom faucets are typically set at 1.5 gpm or higher. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that such aerators can cut your water usage by up to 60 percent.
Limit Your Water Pressure: Greater water pressure from your bathroom sink faucet causes more water to run from the faucet when you turn it on in comparison to a faucet with a lower water pressure. Cutting your water pressure from 100 pounds per square inch (PSI) to 50 PSI can cut water usage by approximately one third.
Fresh water is essential for life and it is up to all of us to do what we can to conserve it. It’s the little things that count. Consider how you can make an impact on your water usage. Today, World Water Day 2018 is a good day to start!