- Some 1.1 billion people, or 18 % of the word’s population, lack access to safe drinking water, and over 2.4 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.
- More than 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die each year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation.
- A report released in early October 2009 by the Water Research Commission of South Africa found that South Africa has 4% less water than 20 years ago.
- Rand Water is predicting that demand for water in South Africa will outstrip supply by 2025. It also believes that Gauteng is potentially facing a water shortage as early as 2013.
- In Cape Town the scenario is not much better with a water shortage prediction by 2016
- If South Africans continue with their wasteful water practices, there simply will not be enough water to meet the country’s future needs and, we may have to start paying even more for water!
- South Africans can change the scenario by changing their behaviour towards water usage and becoming water wise and savvy about rainwater harvesting.
21 top water-saving tips for your home
v Checking for leaks in taps, pipes and dishwasher hoses is an easy way to reduce water wastage.
v Remember, one leaking tap can waste more than 2,000 lt a month.
v There’s no need to leave the tap running while you brush your teeth. Simply wet your toothbrush before you begin and use a glass of water to rinse your mouth.
v The most water efficient methods for cooking vegetables are microwaving, steaming or using a pressure cooker. You can also cut down on water loss by using tight lids on pots and simmering instead of boiling rapidly.
v Installing water efficient taps or tap aerators is a great, inexpensive way to cut your water usage without you even noticing.
v Put the plug in the sink when washing your hands instead of holding them under running water.
v Thaw frozen foods before you need them or use the microwave instead of placing them under running water.
v Prevent taps from leaking by turning taps off lightly and replace washers as soon as they begin to leak.
v Automatic dishwashers can use up to 40 lt of water per load. By using a dishwasher with at least a 3 star/AAA rating, you can get this figure down to 18 lt per load and still get the kind of sparkling clean dishes you’re used to.
v Wait until you have a full load in your dishwasher before using it. This saves water and energy, and reduces the amount of detergent entering the sewerage system.
v Keep a container of water in the fridge so that you won’t need to run the water down the sink until it’s cool enough to drink.
v Washing fruit and vegetables in a half-filled sink instead of under running water is a great way to cut back on water wastage.
v Rinsing your dishes in a plugged sink rather than under a running tap saves water and is just as easy and effective.
v Use a sink strainer.
v Try to use phosphate-free, eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products. There’s a great range to choose from these days and they’re much better for our environment.
v Remember to regularly clean the lint filter on your washing machine.
v Most washing machines have a load adjustment button or dial, so try to set this to match the amount of washing you’re doing. If your machine doesn’t have a load adjustment function, try to wait until you have enough washing for a full load.
v Installing one of the latest 3 star/AAA rating showerheads can give you a great shower and save you around 10 lt of water a minute. They also save you energy costs, as you’ll use less hot water.
v To rinse your razor, run a little water into a plugged sink. Rinsing your razor under a running tap wastes lots of water.
v Electric or fuel powered leaf blowers work more efficiently than hosing down paths and driveways.
v Pool covers reduce the amount of water you need to keep your pool full and running efficiently.
v Rainwater harvesting is the collection, storage and distribution of rainwater and the perfect storage facility for rainwater is a water tank.
v Rainwater can essentially be used anywhere you use tap water.
v The idea of using drinking water to flush toilets and water lawns is wasteful and irresponsible, especially in light of the population growth and water shortages across the country.
v Rainwater harvesting greens your home lessens your environmental footprint.
v Rainwater is an absolutely FREE source of water.
v You will reduce flooding and erosion caused by storm water run off
YOUR ROOF YOUR ALLY
- 1mm of rain allows you to harvest 1lt of water per m2 of roof area – just allow for a 15% wastage factor.
- Make sure that your gutters are installed to direct rainwater to rain water tanks.
- An annual rainfall of 500 mm on a roof surface of 50 m² amounts to 25 000-liters of potential safe drinking water that can be preserved (40-liters per day for 625 days) or wasted! In South Africa, the water allocation per day per person is 25lt