Water Week is taking place from 14-21 March 2016 and we want everyone at CPUT to start saving water.
Water is a critically scarce resource in South Africa, and by taking small actions in your everyday life, you can help to save water.
Save water in your kitchen
- Ensure washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them.
- Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden.
- Rinse water can be reused for the next cycle of washing up before being discarded.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge so that you don’t run lukewarm water down the drain when waiting for it to cool.
- Run tap water into a bottle when waiting for it to heat up.
- Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, sunlight or microwave rather than placing them under running water.
- Microwave, steam or use a pressure cooker to cook vegetables. This retains more of the flavour and uses less water than boiling.
Save water in your bathroom
- Close the tap when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 20 litres per month. Use a mug of water to rinse your toothbrush.
- Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water. This saves up to 45 litres per month.
- A half-filled bath uses about 113 litres, a 5-minute shower uses about 56 litres. Shower rather than bath, if you have to bath make it a shallow one or share it.
- Reuse bath water in your garden.
- Install a new water-saving toilet or put a clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand in the toilet cistern. This could save you up to 7 300 litres each year.
- A toilet leak can waste up to 30 litres an hour - check if your toilet is leaking by adding a few drops of food dye to the cistern. If the colour seeps into the bowl, you have a leak, which should be fixed as soon as possible.
- Install a water-saving shower head, take shorter showers, don't run the water at full force and turn off the shower when soaping or shaving.
Save water throughout your home
- Ensure all taps are fully closed – a dripping tap at 1 drip per second wastes up to 30 litres a day - that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year.
- Replace tap washers regularly and fit tap aerators to restrict and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water.
Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary.
Save water in your garden
- Water your garden before 10:00 or after 16:00, and only when necessary.
- Re-use your bath and sink water to water plants and lawns. Professional greywater recycling systems are also available for purchase.
- If you have an overflow pipe that drips into the garden, place a bucket beneath the drips and use the saved water to water pot plants.
- Mulching flowerbeds keeps down the weeds and holds moisture in the soil for longer.
- Use a mulching lawn mower that allows clippings to be finely cut and blown back into the lawn.
- Don’t mow lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth and lawns are more likely to burn in summer.
- Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you wash your car, and use short bursts of water – this can save up to 300 litres each time. Or, to save even more water wash your vehicle using a bucket of water.
- Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you water your garden.
- Check and maintain your irrigation system regularly, to ensure no water is running to waste, or that paved areas are being watered.
- Adjust your irrigation system for the season and switch it off during rainy weather - even if it is borehole or wellpoint water.
- Watering the garden less frequently, but deeper (for longer) encourages a deeper root system, which results in stronger plants. This practice can make water-wise plants out of most established plants.
CPUT Water Week activities
To spread the word on Water Week, we will be hosting various activities on the Cape Town Campus. Check out social media for information on activities.