Experts tell us that if we all implemented some simple water-saving changes at home, we could conserve vast amounts of this precious resource.
“Realising that each of us has the power to effect change is crucial in order to solve our greatest challenge: a consistent fresh water supply for all,” says Justin Friedman, founder of FLOW (For Love Of Water).
“It is necessary every individual learns to play a part in this crisis by taking action at home,” he urges.
Here are some simple ways in which you can make a difference.
* Fix all leaking taps and water pipes.
* Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, washing your hands or shaving.
* Bathe young children together.
* Place a brick in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush.
* Check that your toilet handle doesn’t stay in a downward position, which means that water is constantly running.
* Insulate your water pipes so you can get hot water faster and don’t have to waste any while waiting for the hot water to come through.
* Plant indigenous, drought-resistant plants in your garden.
* Water your garden with a watering can rather than a hosepipe, which uses up to 1 000 litres of water (about 12 baths) an hour. Water early morning or late afternoon to reduce evaporation.
* Mulch your plants with bark chippings, pine needles, heavy compost.
* Wash your car with a bucket and sponge only.
* Check your pool for leaks. Cover it so the water doesn’t evaporate.
* Sweep outside areas instead of hosing with water.
* Cut back on washing your towels and linen.
* Match the size of your laundry load with water volume.
* Buy an eco-friendly wash ball.
* Buy a water-efficient washing machine.
Showers are always better than baths
Not always. It’s true that a typical bath uses around 80 litres, while a short shower as little as a third of that. However, a power shower uses 50 litres a minute. So, opt for a low-flow shower head to reduce the amount of water used.
Check whether your toilet is leaking by adding some food colouring to the tank. If it’s leaking, the toilet bowl will have changed colour within 30 minutes.