Water conservation is so imperative. All living organisms need water to survive. Saving water saves lives, but it also saves you money. The effects on your wallet may be closer to home for some people, which is why we’re talking saving water in monetary terms.
Why Conserve Water?
South Africa is still under a countrywide water saving imperative, as of December 2016. Last week, warnings were issued that Cape Town dam levels were under 40% and would only provide water for the next 100 days. This week the city council was set to vote on forcing residents to save water, with door-to-door visits high on the agenda.
Johannesburg is currently under level two water restrictions, and Durban residents are being urged to pray for rain.
But, it’s difficult to really digest the dire consequences of the drought while we still have water running from the taps. We all know we should turn off the tap when we brush our teeth – but do we? This can save you six litres of water per minute. For a small family of three, this is minimum saving of 18 litres per day, that’s 13 140 litres saved annually.
Place a cistern displacement device in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush. You can get one of these from your water provider. Take a shorter shower.
3 Affordable Water-Saving Tips And Tricks, Plus Money Saved
In South Africa, you are charged for water according to your average consumption. For a standalone home in Cape Town, a sliding scale or ‘stepped tariff’ is applied to your water bill. For example, a home at step four (20 000-35 000 litres or 20-35 kilo-litres) is charged R40.96 per kilo-litre, while under level three water restrictions.
Let’s be honest. Nobody is going to fill up buckets of grey water from the washing machine and go back and forth watering their gardens on a consistent basis. It’s just not sustainable. Even if you cannot afford to proactively retrofit your house, with water saving features, you can make small, affordable changes over time. Fixing a single dripping tap, for example, can save up to 11 400 litres of water per year. According to the step four tariff, thats about R466.
You can now buy water-efficient taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. Here are three worthwhile water saving purchases and estimated annual savings.
1. From R120.00
Long, hot showers could be using up to 30 litres per minute. A low-flow shower head can reduce that amount by up to two thirds. If all three members of a small family each take a 7.5 minute shower every day, that’s an approximate saving of 164,250 litres annually.
Money saved: R6,727.68.
2. From R639.32
One of the biggest water wasters is irrigation that’s not accurately monitored. The average hosepipe can use as much as 1,000 litres an hour. With an automatic irrigation controller, you can set a fixed irrigation time for a day or a week. This is particularly useful for the restricted watering times under level three water restrictions.
If you usually water your lawn/garden, on average, for one hour, twice a week, that’s about 104 285,7 litres consumed annually. An irrigation controller should cut that by at least a third.
Money saved: R1,424.00.
3. A Water-Saving Dishwasher, From R3999.00
Older, non-efficient dishwashers can use up to 60 litres per wash. A modern water- and energy-saving dishwasher has an expected water usage of only 12 litres. That’s a five-fold saving. If you use your dishwater about 23 times per month, annually you could be saving 13,248 litres annually.
Annual water saved: 3.785411784.
Money saved: R543.00.