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World Water Day – how can I make a difference?

When I think about water, I picture the water coming out of my taps and the water that I drink. I don’t often think about water being a part of other aspects of my life. But water is also used to grow my food , to create the electricity I use, and in the manufacture of the products that I buy.  I try to be conscious about this precious resource and do many things to save water in my day-to-day life. I recently installed a grey water system in my home, so now my water is reused in the garden.  For Love of Water have put together a great list of tips and ideas to save water in all areas of your life.   Click here for more info.

FLOW are also collecting stories from individuals and organisations to showcase how we can all save water. Here are some of their stories. If you’d like to add your own story – visit their website  here and add your voice.

Water stories

Joe replaced five 100W incandescent light bulbs with five 6W LED light bulbs in his home, which saves 56,4 kWh of electricity per month and nearly 100 litres of water per month. When you save electricity you save water, because water is used in the creation of electricity. TIP: Use electricity saving light bulbs and save water.

Monica of the Zimele Educare Centre made sure she created good trenching and mulching when planting her garden. This way she’s able to ensure the soil acts as sponge to retain water for longer. As a result, even after a month of no watering, the vegetables are growing perfectly well. This has saved roughly 500 litres or water, not to mention her food. TIP: Mulch and trench your garden to save a month’s worth of watering.

Charles Mathlay of Military Heights built windbreaks around his garden to stop the wind from drying out the soil. He also put a cover on his crops that prevents evaporation. He now not only saves water, he saves time and effort by not having to walk the great distance to tap daily. TIP: Build wind breaks and cover your garden to reduce water evaporation.

JP has adopted a more grain-based vegetarian diet by cutting down on beef. This has helped him save water and money. Why? To produce 1kg of beef takes 10 times more water than producing 1 kg of grain. TIP: Adopt a more gain based diet and save water.

Larisa and her family of 3 harvest rainwater from the roof of her small house with gutters and closed water storage tanks. In doing so, they have enough water for drinking and cooking throughout the year in the drought-ridden Klein Karoo.  TIP: collect rainwater for use in your garden.

Jori put a cool-drink bottle filled with stones into his toilet cistern. This displaces 1 litre of the water that fills the cistern after every flush, saving about 100 litres per day. TIP: Put a 1L bottle or a brick in your toilet cistern and save 1 L of water each time you flush.

Mark of Observatory installed Solar panels on his roof. These lowered his electricity costs and actually helped to save water. This is because 1KW of energy = 1 KL of water. TIP: saving electricity actually means saving water.

Ishmael got his entire family to reduce the time they spent in the shower after he learnt that, if everyone in a family of four takes one minute less to shower, we save up to 12 000 litres of water a year. TIP: take short showers instead of bathing.

Marc in Bo Kaap fitted an aerator to his tap at work for washing hands. Because the aerator mixes air with water, it’s reduced his water consumption by up to 50%. TIP: fit aerators to all your taps.

Bebe started to water her garden early in the morning at 8am. This helps to minimise water loss through evaporation since she learnt that watering the garden for 15 minutes uses around 50 litres of water. TIP: water your garden in the early morning, or evening to reduce evaporation.

Cheryse uses earth friendly products to wash her clothes, dishes, body and hair. By using these products she is keeping the water she uses clean so that it can be easily recycled. TIP: Use earth friendly household and body cleaning products to keep water clean.

Project 90 by 2030 launched an Interactive Household tool with ways and ideas to help individuals to reduce water and energy use in the home. TIP: try out the Household tool here.

More water saving tips:

  • Sweep outside areas instead of hosing with water.
  • Reuse the water you use in your home to water the garden.
  • Fix leaks at home & report public water leaks to the Municipality.
  • Keep a bucket in the shower to catch the water while you wait for it to heat up – you can use this water in your garden, or to flush the toilet.
  • Keep a tub in the sink to catch water used for washing vegetables to water your pot plants.
  • Use a bucket to scoop out your bathwater and use it in the garden.
  • For ideas on how to catch rain water read our previous blog post

If you have an interesting water saving story to share with us, leave a comment below and the best story will win two tickets to the Two Oceans Aquarium.

Olivia

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