Reduce Water
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Water
 
  Outside
  
Garden
  
Hosepipes
  
Pool
  
Taps
  
Patio/Driveway
  
Car
   Inside
   Kitchen & Laundry
  
Appliances
  
Washing machine
  
Dishwasher
  
Handwashing dishes
  
Kettle
  
Food Preparation
   Bathroom
  
Basin
  
Showering
  
Bathing
  
Toilet
  
Leaking toilets
  
Geyser and Pipes
  
Leaking Pipes
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Electricity
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Transport
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Paper
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Purchasing Decisions
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Decreasing Consumption
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Decreasing Food Waste
 
Imagine a world without water. We can't.

This life sustaining resource is the Earth's most valuable and precious resource, which we all take for granted. For many it's a tap away. Though we recognise that for many in South Africa this is unfortunately not the case.

It is understood that our fresh water resources will be fully exploited within the next twenty to thirty years if the ever-increasing growth in our demand for water, and our behavioural practices with regard to water, are not addressed.

Although we can argue that industry needs to change their water management practices (and electricity management practices); and that our municipalities need to manage our water systems more effectively (checking for and repairing leaks etc); and that investment needs to be made into our rainfall catchment areas and fresh water ecosystems, we as individuals can all do our part to save this life giving resource.

  We can be more conscious of the amount of water we use and change
    our behavioural practices, thus reducing our demand on our water supplies.

  The tips below range from easy, simple actions to those that require a
    bit more effort. Different people have different lifestyles, and so some
    tips will be more relevant to you than others.

  Each drop saved adds up.

  A little effort by a lot of people ensures a large result.

  And saving water means saving money as well as saving the resource.
    Think of two
savings accounts yours, and our planet's!
    So save wisely. Be water wise!

  Install flow regulators or aerators to limit the amount of water that
    comes out the taps.

  Install a water tank in your garden. The tanks can be attached to your
    drain pipes or placed under your gutter to collect rain water.

  Dont pour toxic and hazardous materials, like paint, thinners or solvents
    down the drain as it gets into the water stream. Dispose of them
    responsibly at a hazardous materials waste disposal site. Check with
    your local municipality where these sites are situated.
 
Submit Your Water Saving Suggestion
Outside

Garden

  Water your garden either early in the morning or in the late afternoon.

  Don't water your garden during the heat of the day because the water
    evaporates faster and because the sun targets the water the plants can
    burn.

  Keep your lawn a minimum of 2cm long. This encourages healthier roots
    and protects the soil better from the hot sun - meaning less water is
    necessary to keep the lawn green and growing.

  Add a polymer mix into your soil as this increases the soil's water holding
    capacity. This is available at from nurseries.

  To conserve moisture, put mulch around your plants and shrubs.

  Aerate the soil prior to watering. This is done by poking holes into the soil
    with a garden fork.

  Water your plants at the roots. And water as deep as possible.

  Collect rainwater from your drainpipes and use it to water your garden.

  Choose to plant plants that need less water. Exotic plants often require
    more water than indigenous ones.

  Use your used bathwater in your garden. Scoop the water into a bucket
    and pour it into your garden.

  After washing your dishes, re-use the rinsing water in your garden.
    Scoop into a bucket and take it outside. (The water you've used to wash
    dishes that have fatty or protein based foods is not suitable for re-use in
    the garden.)

  The water you've used to wash fruit and vegetables is suitable for re-use
    in the garden - even if it has detergent  or salt in it.

  If you have an irrigation system, remember to turn it off when it's
    raining.

  Check the direction of the irrigation sprays. Make sure they are targeting
    the plants, and not onto your patio, driveway or onto the road.


Hosepipes

  Check that your hosepipe doesn't have any holes, or leak. Often the
    water leaks out onto driveways or other areas that don't need watering.

  When watering your garden, it is preferable to attach a sprinkler to your
    hosepipe, as the smaller water drops do not compact the soil as much
    as a direct stream of water from a hosepipe, which affects the water
    absorption of the soil.


Pool

  Use a pool cover over your swimming pool to decrease the amount of
    water that evaporates daily.

  Repair any swimming pool leaks, so that you don't have to keep filling
    the pool.

  To minimise water splashing out the pool while swimming, don't fill your
    pool too high.


Taps

  Ensure that your taps are closed properly so
    that they don't drip.

  If you have a tap that drips check the washer.

  If it still persists contact your plumber to
    ensure that there isn't a bigger problem.


Patio/ Driveway Cleaning

  Use a broom or a bucket and mop instead of a hosepipe when cleaning
    outside. It does require more physical effort and energy but the savings
    on water will be substantial.


Car

  Use a few buckets of water to wash your car instead of the hosepipe.

  Wash your car at home instead of at a car wash as this uses less water
    than the machines use.



Inside - Kitchen & Laundry

Appliances

Washing machine


  Wash your clothes in cold or warm water - not in hot water.

  Ensure that you have a full load of washing when
    using the washing machine as this saves
    water
as well as energy.

  If your washing isn't badly soiled then you don't
    need to a pre-rinse cycle.

  Some tips when selecting a new machine:

  Look for a machine that is a high efficiency
    model.

  Look for a machine that offers different cycle
    options. This enables you to choose a cycle
    that is more water (and energy) efficient when
    heavy duty cleaning is not needed.

  Front loaders are more efficient than top loaders or twin tubs - which
    both use a lot more water (and energy) than a front loader.

  Select a machine that offers load detection, so if there isn't enough
    washing to do a full load, the machine can detect the correct amount of
    water required.

  Although, unfortunately, the purchase price of high efficiency models is
    often more than other machines, you will save on your water and
    electricity costs. And they are much better for the environment!


Dishwasher

  Run your dishwasher when it's full (instead of
    doing two half loads), as this minimises the
    use of water, energy and detergent. (It's a cost
    saving too).

  If you rinse your dishes before loading the
    machine then place a small amount of water
    in the sink and rinse the dishes in that water
    instead of under running water.

  If you have pre-rinsed your dishes then run
    the load on a shorter cycle rather than a standard cycle.


Hand -Washing Dishes

  Scrape your plates as clean as possible before washing. It may mean
    that you don't need to pre-rinse thus saving water. Also the water will
    take longer to get dirty, and more dishes can be washed in the same
    water.

  If you need to pre-rinse your dishes, then do so in a sink or shallow
    bucket partially filled with water instead of under running water.
    Running water wastes a lot of precious water.

  If you have a double sink, then wash all the dishes in one side and
    rinse in the other side. This saves rinsing in running water. If there is
    more than one load of dishes then wash the next load in the original
    rinsing water, replacing the washing water. This means that only one
    of the basin loads of water needs to be drained.

  The rinsing water - even if it has detergent in it - can be re-used in the
    garden. The detergent is not harmful to your garden. However the
    soiled washing water should not be used in the garden, as the fats and
    proteins are not good.

  If you are going to run water for the rinsing then place a bucket under
    the tap and re-use that water in your garden, or else
use that water to
    wash the next sink load of dishes



Kettle


  Only put as much water into your kettle as you need.
    This means that you can use fresh water each time
    you want to have a cup of tea or coffee.

  If you want to pour out water that's been sitting in
    your kettle (prior to refilling it)
then use the older
    water to water your plants (cold of course!) or into
    your sink for washing dishes.


Food Preparation

  Instead of defrosting food under running water, let it stand out
    (covered) or else let it soak in a bowl with a limited amount of water.

  When boiling water on the stove, where possible,
    cover the pot so that it takes longer for the water
    to evaporate.

  When washing fruit and vegetables, soak them in
    bowl partially filled with water instead of using
    running water then pour the water into the
    garden.

  Or else plug your sink and soak your vegetables
    in the sink. Then scoop this water out of the sink
    into a bucket and re-use it in your garden.

  If you are going to rinse food under running water,
    place a bowl or shallow bucket in your sink and
    then pour this water into your flower beds or your
    lawn. (Not suitable for fatty or meat products.)

  Use cold water instead of hot water.

  Keep a water bottle in your fridge if you prefer drinking cold water.
    This saves the water that runs down the drain while the running water
    gets cold enough to drink. This is especially on hot days when the water
    pipes heat up.

Inside - Bathroom

Basin

  Ensure the taps don't drip.

  Use the cold water tap to wash your hands instead of hot water.

  Keep the water pressure as low as possible.

  Ensure that your taps don't leak. Replace the washers in the taps when
    necessary.

  If the tap is dripping, place a cup or bowl under the tap (until it gets
    fixed) and re-use the collected water in your garden or elsewhere.
    This way it's not literally "money down the drain"!

  Make sure the taps are turned off properly after use.

  When you are brushing your teeth turn the tap off between wetting
    your toothbrush and rinsing.

  When you are shaving turn off the tap between wetting your face and
    razor and rinsing. Fill the basin with a little water to rinse your blade
    while shaving instead of rinsing it under running water.

  Install flow regulators.


Showering and Bathing

  Check that the taps are turned off properly after your shower or once
    you've run your bath.

  Install flow regulators or aerators.
   Dripping taps waste a lot of water.


Showering

  Have a short shower instead of a bath.

  Ensure that your shower head doesn't leak.

  Exchange your existing showerhead with a water efficient shower rose/
    showerhead.

  If you're redoing your bathroom request a water efficient shower
    rose/head.

  A regular pressured shower uses between 6 and 10 litres of water per
    minute (depends on pressure and size of shower head).

  A 5 minute shower means 30 - 50 litres of water are consumed.

  A high pressured shower head dispenses between 15 and 20
    litres of water per minute!

  A 5 minute high powered shower means 75- 100 litres of
    water! A 10 minute full powered shower means 150-200 litres
    of water!

  This means that a family of four each having one 5- minute
    shower a day uses more than 100 000 litres of water per year!


  If you have a high-powered shower then only use half the power when
    showering. This will decrease the amount of water used per minute.

  Limit your time in the shower.

  Be conscious of how long you are in the shower for. Time yourself and
    see how long you spend in the shower. Make an effort to increase the
    number of shorter showers you take versus long showers.

  If you always have long showers, then start with choosing to have a
    shorter shower once or twice a week. Or better still have shorter
    showers everyday and have your longer shower as a weekly/monthly
    treat.

  Switch off the water between soaping and rinsing.

  If you wash your hair in the shower, switch off the water between
    lathering and rinsing.

  Place a bucket in your shower which you can stand in and use the water
    captured in your garden.

  Install flow regulators.


Bathing

A standard built-in bath has a holding capacity of between 160 and 220 litres of water. (There are variations depending on the exact size and shape.) Some of the larger luxury baths have more than double this capacity!

  Ensure that the taps don't leak. In addition to staining your bath, the
    water is money down the drain.

  Run a shallow bath of water instead of a full bath.

  If you tend to fill your bath every time you bath, then limit your full
    bath to once a week and the rest of the time use half the amount of
    water.

  Although generally shower uses less water than bathing - a little water
    in the bath is better than a long full-pressured shower. (See litres above).

  Scoop the water from the bath into a bucket and re-use it in the garden.

  Share your bathwater.


Toilet

Cisterns vary in size. Unless there is dual-flush option, each time you flush you use between 6 and 11 litres of water. The amount of water flushed out of a conventional cistern is not variable, and so the maximum volume of water is flushed out every time.

This amount of water is not needed every time you flush, which means that billions of litres of water are wasted every year. This becomes an expensive resource that goes down toilet!

  When purchasing a new toilet - where possible select a dual flush toilet.
    And check the size of the cistern. The larger the cistern the more water
    the toilet uses (and the more it costs each time you flush.)

  If you have a flush handle toilet, pick up the handle once it's flushed.

  Install a dual flush mechanism.

  Dual flushers give you the option of using a less flush option of 3.5-4
    litres (for liquid) or a greater flush option of 6-9 litres (for solids).
    Often the 3.5-4 litre flush is suitable for solids too.

  They can be installed in most toilets. Depending on the number of
    people in the household, you can save hundreds or thousands of litres
    of water a month. The savings on your water bill will justify the cost of
    the dual flush mechanism within months. And you will be saving thou-
    sands of litres of precious water.

  Depending on the size of your cistern, place a half litre, one litre or two
    litre plastic bottle of water in the cistern. Ensure that the bottle is stable,
    and does not interfere with any of the toilet's mechanisms. This reduces
    the amount of inlet (refill) water into the cistern. Check it regularly.
      Putting a brick in the cistern is not the best solution as it can obstruct
        the outflow. Also if it falls over when the cistern is empty it can knock
        a hole in the tank.

  Bend the float arm downwards, so less water is allowed to refill the
    cistern. You may need to remove the arm from the cistern first, and
    then reinstall it once the arm is bent sufficiently.

  If you use the toilet a lot, then don't flush everytime - only when you
    need to.

  Don't throw rubbish or cigarettes into the toilet. 

  Ensure that the toilet mechanism valve washer in the cistern is fitted
    correctly so that the toilet doesn't leak.

  Automatic flushing urinals, found in schools and factories, are water
    wasters.
      Switch the water off after hours and over weekends.
      They should be modified to be user activated.

  Ensure that your toilet does not have a leak. Check it on a regular basis
    and get it fixed immediately if there is a leak. A basic leak increases
    the water consumption considerably.


Leaking toilets

  A leaking toilet can waste in excess of 20 litres of water per hour! Add
    that up over a day or week.

  A visible leak can be seen and heard - water running down the back of
    the toilet. Repair immediately.
      It may be that the toilet mechanism valve washer is not being fitted
        properly and needs to be adjusted, or the washer may need
        replacing. If you are unsure call a plumber or handyman.

  Check for invisible or silent leaks by pouring food colouring into the
    cistern, so that the colour of the water changes. If the water in the toilet
    changes colour within half an hour you have a leak.
      The washer may need replacing. This little exercise will save you
        thousands of litres of water.

  The cost of a plumber will pay for itself in the water savings costs. The
    long term financial cost of the thousands of litres of water wasted will far
    outweigh the cost of a plumber or handyman to fix the leak.

  If you spot a leak in a toilet at your workplace, school, sportsclub, movie
    theatre, shopping centre or anywhere - report it to management, and
    insist that something gets done.


Geyser and Pipes

  Insulate your geyser and pipes so the water retains its heat longer.
    Cold water is wasted while waiting for the water to heat up.


Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes waste water and cost you money.

  A quick way to check if you have any leaking pipes:

  Check your water meter.

  Don't run any water for an hour.

  Recheck your meter.

  If the meter has moved you have a leak. 
   


Share this information with your domestic worker and
members of your family to get the best savings

EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS! GOING GREEN WORKS!
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