Cape Town is facing a huge water crisis, and is set to hit Day Zero on 12 April 2018.
Day Zero will see the City Of Cape Town turn off the taps. Residents will then have to collect their daily 25 litre water ration at one of 200 public distribution points.
While it may be too late for the situation to be turned around in Cape Town, residents across the country can start doing their bit to prevent shortages in the future.
Listed below are simple pieces of tech and hardware which can start saving water today.
Smart Water Pebble
A water pebble is placed in your shower and starts a timing sequence when it detects running water.
A lighting process is used to indicate how long you are showering for, with different colours used as a guideline.
The SWS Smart Water Pebble will flash red for 3 minutes, before turning amber, and then turning red again – giving you a 4-minute-total guideline for your shower.
Tubing and a tank
According to the Rain Harvesting Knowledge Centre, 1mm of rain per 1 square metre of roof area equals just under 1 litre of water – when wastage is factored in.
This water can be stored and used to water a garden, wash a dirty braai area, or other tasks where drinking water is not required.
Tubing can be connected to your gutters to channel the rainwater, which then leads to a storage tank.
Small tanks, like a 120-litre Camp Master water tank, are available from around R1,500.
Bigger tanks, like a 10,000-litre Jojo, are available from just over R10,000.
To see how to set one up, Builders offers a guide on how to harvest rainwater with a tank.
Solar pool covers
Pools can consume a lot of a household’s water, especially during hot periods where evaporation takes place.
One solution is to install a solar pool cover, which can prevent evaporation by up to 95%. The cover works in a traditional fashion, and is placed over the surface of a pool.
It also helps to keep your pool clean and elevates the pool’s water temperature.
Toilets use a lot of water per flush, and older toilets with big cisterns are very guilty parties.
There are several ways to combat this, one of which is a Hippo Bag.
The Hippo Bag fills with water in the cistern, while the toilet functions as it should.
The bag has a small hole on either side, allowing water to then flow in and out of the bag, making sure the water stays fresh.
This helps reduce water consumption per flush.
Toilet tank bags – which simply hold water and do not release it – can also be used to reduce the volume of water in the cistern.
Water-saving shower head
In combination with taking shorter showers, a shower head which reduces water flow can help you lower consumption.
Shower heads like the Triumph Shower Rose can be set to have a flow rate of 6 litres per minute.
This is lower than many shower heads, which are often a bit below the 10-litre-per-minute mark.