AWARENESS: Marlene le Roux, chief executive of the Artscape Theatre, has emptied her pool to save water. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA.
Cape Town - With Day Zero looming, more and more consumers are doing the right thing and preserving water, as well as raising awareness about the importance of using this irreplaceable resource sparingly.

Among those setting the example is one of Cape Town’s most loved personalities - Artscape chief executive Marlene le Roux.

The Cape Argus asked her what she was doing to save water.

Le Roux has transformed her home into a rehabilitation centre for her friends after her son Adam, 15, died five months ago.

“I was very privileged to grow up in a house that uses a small bucket, and this is about going back to those years where you need to do everything in that little basin,” Le Roux said.

Before the water crisis, Le Roux had made a few adjustments to her home.

“We are a household with many people living here; we try to wash only every second day.

“We don’t do washing every day. We do it once a week and we have stopped washing our floors.”

They have stopped using the dishwasher as well as the swimming pool, she added.

“We are a very active household... making everybody else aware.”

It was vital that awareness of the drought and the water crisis was created, Le Roux said.

“Water has become a commodity that is going to become very scarce.

“It’s not just about Day Zero. It’s about the mindset - we need to change how you use water,” said Le Roux who this week was given a prestigious award on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Commonwealth Point Of Light was bestowed on Le Roux for her dedication and work in the disability sector.

Five months ago, her son died. He had cerebral palsy - a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while a child’s brain is under development.

Le Roux’s pool had been constructed for Adam and her friends a few months ago, to help with their physical therapy.

She has expressed her concerns about the logistical challenges disabled people might face when they have to go and fetch water at the collection points the City has planned for Day Zero.

“How are they going to access it if they don’t have transport? So for me, I want to know whether there is a task team to advise the City or the province about accessibility points.

“You cannot just say you are going to have a different queue. My concern is how do you get to that point?”

Le Roux urged Capetonians to immediately reduce their water consumption.

“Residents should also be aware about what appliances consume more water than others, and in that way they can save water.”

Le Roux believed that many Cape residents have not yet realised that there is a water crisis.

“For me, if Day Zero comes, and I know if it does arrive, it’s going to stay with us for a very long time, so it’s a mind change that needs to happen,” she said.

[email protected]

Cape Argus