Written by Quintin Coetzee
Cape Town, where our head offices are located, is currently going through a severe drought. As a result, residents are having to think of new and inventive ways to save water, both to avoid being fined, and to try and help the environment. Many other cities around the world are currently facing similar problems.
There are many ways that one can be more water-wise, and this article outlines a few recommendations.
As you can see in the image above, we have recently installed a water storage tank in our office garden. This tank is linked to the gutters, and collects rain water for storage and later use. Whenever needed, we can take buckets to the tank, and retrieve clean water to use wherever we like. These storage tanks can be professionally installed if you’d prefer not to DIY, and can be purchased in different sizes from Builder’s Warehouse. Prices can be found here.
We also have a special drip system set up to water our rooftop vegetable garden, which you can read more about here. The system involves a number of rubber tubes that route from a storage source. These tubes slowly release water into the beds of vegetables, and can easily be tied to prevent water flow. The water storage is even contributed towards from waste water dripping from air-con condenser units.
Other tips for saving water are:
- Storing recycled water and using it to flush toilets, by pouring it into the cistern or bowl. (Water stored for long periods of time should be treated).
- Stacking dirty dishes and washing only once per day.
- Only washing clothes when you have a full load.
- Showering instead of bathing, and reducing shower times.
- Watering your garden when the sun is low, to prevent lots of evaporation.
- Fix all drips and leaks at home and in the office.
- Install a water meter or monitor your bills to track your usage, and set goals for yourself each month.
- Invest in appliances that are rated for efficient use of water.
- Lobby your city to invest in sustainable water solutions.
There are numerous places around the world where the demand for water is not met. The problem affects an estimated 2.7 billion people for at least one month of every year, across every continent, and is particularly pressing in cities, as the global urban population grows. Currently, almost four billion people live in cities, with a further 2.5 billion expected to join them by 2050.
Over the past few years, both Los Angeles and São Paulo have been impacted by major droughts affecting their surrounding states. In response to the absence of snow, California governor Jerry Brown announced mandatory regulations that prohibited the watering of ornamental grass, required new homes to use drip irrigation, and directed water agencies to set up new pricing structures to maximize conservation.
Further east, Singapore, Kuwait City, Abu Dhabi, Doha have some of the lowest access to freshwater in the world, and make use of desalination plants, which convert ocean water into freshwater.
Much of western Queensland, Australia experienced drought between 2013 and 2015, affecting agriculture as well as residents. In response to further drought warnings in the area earlier in 2017, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation offered online advice to farmers on assistance available to them in their local areas.
As we attempt to combat climate change, saving water helps people the world over. Not only does doing so benefit the environment, it can also save you money.
For more water tips and information relevant to Cape Town’s water situation, visit the City of Cape Town website.
For more information about how we can assist you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.