Water saving should be a lifestyle, always, not just during drought. South Africa is a water scarce country and you never know what the future holds. Save now, so everyone’s water future is secure.
Water for drinking should be everyone’s priority, all the time. Anytime you see water flowing, think ‘this water should be saved for drinking’ and adjust your mindset and actions accordingly.
D – Drinking water takes priority
R – Rainwater to be used where possible and safe
I – Innovative water-saving ideas at home and work will help
N – No water wasted
K – Know the water restrictions applicable to where you are
The quickest way to save the most water:
Save municipal water for household use and find new ways to garden.
• Consider planting drought resistant plants, investigate alternative water sources, rainwater tanks and grey water systems.
• Use boreholes responsibly, ground water can dry up too. Don’t forget to use ‘Own Water’ signage where applicable.
• Don’t clean outside surfaces with a hose. Use a bucket or broom.
• Wash vehicles with non-drinkable water or at a water-wise commercial carwash.
Every time you flush, it’s a family of four’s drinking water down the drain.
• Reduce toilet paper use and flush only when necessary.
• Don’t use the toilet as a bin.
• Adjust the toilet cistern setting to take on less water or use a weighted object inside the cistern.
• Investigate rainwater supply to cisterns or manually fill your cistern with non-drinking water.
• Invest in dual-flush toilets.
Baths and Showers
Take a quick shower or bath shallow and share.
• Quick open-and-close to get wet, soap all over, quick open-and-close to rinse.
• Consider replacing the shower head with a flow reducing one.
• Put a bucket in the shower before you soap up and use the water it collects somewhere else.
• Consider using a rainwater system to supply showers and baths.
• Consider harvesting greywater for outdoor use.
• Kids can bath shallow and share bathwater: cleanest to dirtiest works best.
• Use the washing machine as little as possible.
• Consider using rainwater for laundry and handwashing for certain items.
• Full loads only.
• Reduce the number of dishes you use.
• Consider handwashing instead of the dishwashing machine.
• Do not let the tap run while you are scrubbing pots.
• Choose a water-efficient dishwasher should you buy one.
• Check all taps and pipes inside and outside your house regularly for leaks. If on your side of the water meter, get a plumber in. If the leak is on the street side of the water meter, report it to your local municipality (see numbers listed below).
• Monitor your water meter weekly – if the average use spikes, check for leaks and unnecessary use.
Grey water is run-off water, typically from baths, showers and washing machines and is most likely to contain soap and bacteria from skin and hair.
• Do not drink. Use only to flush the toilet and outside, with care and discretion.
• To minimise risk of spreading bacteria do not: store for longer than 24 hours.
: let it form standing ponds or pools.
: use greywater from other people’s property.
: irrigate gardens with greywater using fine mist spray.
: let children and animals play near grey water.
Treat every drop as precious. If you save on the little things, you contribute to the bigger picture.
Develop a lifestyle of saving water by:
• Use a cup when brushing your teeth – wet the brush from it, rinse your mouth and the brush afterwards with it. Don’t let water run
• Catch the cold water in the hot water pipes in a container when you wait for it to turn hot – fill the kettle or cooking pot with it.
• Don’t let the water run while you soap and rub your hands.
• Don’t rinse anything under a running tap. Put some water in the basin or a container and rinse as you go.
• Don’t thaw frozen meat and food under running water. Take it out in advance and defrost in the fridge or a cool place.
• Close taps properly and regularly check that none are dripping.
• Consider flow reducing taps the next time you replace or build.
• Reuse towels.
• Discuss water usage with your household and wet water saving goals.
• Don’t fill swimming pools with municipal water.
• Cover the pool to reduce evaporation and the need to fill it up as often.
• Don’t wash swimming towels unnecessarily
• Shake and rub, don’t rinse and run: rub and shake off beach sand and dirt, do not rinse off with running water
• Drinking water is not for fun: please don’t play with toys that require filling up with drinking water
: please do not play in sprayers using municipal water