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Every drop counts – 20 simple ways to conserve water in the home and yard


Residents in the city are being warned daily to use water sparingly to avoid a water shortage situation. Municipal Spokesperson, Thipa Selala says that the unprecedented low rainfall experienced in the previous rain season, has led to the rapid decline in Ebenezer Dam water levels.

“The current situation will have a serious impact on water supply to all areas of supply within the city and surrounding areas and residents urged to play their part and conserve the little water that is still available,” he added.

Here are ways you can help conserve water:

In your home

  1. Turn-off the tap while brushing teeth, shaving or soaping hands.
  2. Take shorter showers and use less water if you bath.
  3. Never throw water away –  pour any surplus into your dog’s water dish, water a plant, or add it to your water kettle.
  4. Sweep outside areas instead of hosing with water.
  5. Always use a plugged-sink or bowl instead of a running tap.
  6. Convert your toilet to a dual flush to conserve water every time you flush
  7. Put a brick or bottle in the cistern of the toilet. This allows the cistern to fill up with less water.
  8. Check for leaking taps, toilets etc – a water meter will help monitor your usage
  9. Change your shower head to a water saving alternative
  10. Kettles should not be filled to the brim but with just enough water for your needs. This will reduce your electricity bill too.

In your garden

  1. Always water your plants during the early morning hours or in the evening, when temperatures are cooler. Between 10:00 and 15:00 one can lose up to 90% of water to evaporation.
  2. Water gardens less frequently, but water well. Using a garden hose could use as much as 30 litres of water per minute.
  3. Use “grey water” – used water from baths, washing machines and other safe sources – to water your garden.
  4. Spread wood chippings or mulch in your garden beds. This technique will reduce evaporation from the soil and prevent the growth of weeds. Plants that provide ground cover can also serve this function.
  5. Take out your lawn. Lawns are water hungry and can be swapped for much nicer alternatives.  Some succulents do this job excellently and are even nice to walk on when fully established.
  6. Wash your car on your lawn.
  7. Ask your local nursery for indigenous and water wise ground covering plants. that can replace a lawn.
  8. Indoor plants can benefit from living in your bathroom, where there will be more moisture in the air. Some may need more light than your bathroom offers so keep an eye on the plant’s health.
  9. Cover your vegetable garden with a shade cloth. This can deter pets while reducing evaporation.
  10. Consult a local landscaper to help you plant a waterwise garden.

via Department of Water and Sanitation, swsp