South Africa is a semi-arid country with an average annual rainfall of approximately 450mm.
This is well below the world average of 860mm. In other words, water is a precious commodity in the South African context and may become that much more precious in the future if rumours of a potential “super drought” are to be believed.
Doomsday predictions aside, the point is you’re never too young or too old to start practicing water saving habits and what better place to start than in your own home? The following facts contextualise water consumption in the average home:
The average shower uses 20 litres of water every minute.
A five-minute shower can consume approximately 100 litres of hot and cold water, which equates to 36 500 litres of water a year if you take a shower daily.
The largest daily user of water in the home is the toilet. It uses approximately 11 litres of water per flush.
A washing machine can use up to 100 litres of water per wash cycle.
For every dripping tap, around 90 litres of water are wasted every week – that’s 4 680 litres every year.
Integrate your approach
Liza Watermeyer, retail and display co-ordinator at Tile Africa says there is a misconception that going green is a costly exercise. This isn’t the case though, she says, as owners can start by making small changes at home by integrating water saving products and habits.
Fit a flow regulator to your shower head. Doing so will reduce the amount of water used by up to 50% or 18 250 litres and 640Kw a year.
Fix dripping taps.
Don’t pour water down the drain if it can be used for other purposes like cleaning or gardening.
When washing dishes use a bowl of water or fill another sink rather than letting the water run.
Opt for a dual flush toilet – it has a split flush button that gives you a choice of pressing the smaller button for a four-litre flush, ideal for liquid waste, or the larger button for more substantial waste.
Insulate your pipes – this can be done with pre-slit foam pipe insulation, which provides hot water faster and avoids wasting water while waiting for water to heat up.
Do not defrost meat or other food packages under running water. Defrost food overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
Don’t leave the water running when washing your face or brushing your teeth.
By making these small adjustments you can save majorly on your water bill – and do your bit to protect our scarce and valuable resource.