22 March is World Water Day. Today is about being conscious of, grateful for and better about conserving fresh water. Particularly in South Africa right now, managing this resource well is critical. Water is not something we can afford to take for granted. Not only is it important to learn and keep learning about water-related issues, it’s equally important to create awareness and educate each other about water and sanitation.
Water crises in South Africa
The quality of water decreases as it reaches low levels, which can have a serious impact on our health. In addition, unemployment and the price of food are also affected, and these are just a few of the issues resulting from severe water shortages.
Emergency measures have been put in place for the water crisis in Cape Town, which has been declared a disaster area by the Mayor, with “dam levels … effectively at 20%”.[Source] With Gauteng recently having undergone water shortages and Cape Town currently in a drought, water is something we have to address right now in South Africa collectively. Also remember that saving water can save you money. Speak to your family and neighbours, and introduce them to water-saving methods.
A few tips on how to save water
There are many ways to make a difference and do your bit to help save water in your own home and within your family. We’ve put together a few tips for you:
- Always be on the lookout for leaks around your house and your neighbourhood. If you see any, get them fixed immediately. This applies to dripping taps, hoses, and connectors.
- Close the tap while you’re brushing your teeth.
- Turn off the tap while you’re washing or conditioning your hair in the shower (particularly if you have long hair). Or simply take shorter showers.
- Reuse the water you wash your dishes in to water your plants or garden rather than using a hosepipe.
- Don’t use warm water to defrost your food. Rather take it out in advance and use the refrigerator.
- Be mindful of what you flush down the toilet. Don’t flush cigarette butts or other kinds of trash.
- Only do your laundry when you have a full load of clothing.
- Rinse your vegetables in a bowl of clean water rather than leaving the tap running.
- Fill a bottle of water and keep it in the fridge for when you’re thirsty rather than drinking from the tap while it’s running.
- Use a broom rather than a hosepipe to clean your driveway or stoep.
Saving water should become a part of your life and routine rather than a temporary emergency measure. So let’s unite and make the necessary life changes. Saving water should become a habit. Why not start on World Water Day?