How to save money. That is the question everyone has asked either the internet, themselves or anyone willing to give out financial advice. And lately, in South Africa at least, more and more people are becoming aware of the imminent water crises.
More people are looking into ways of reducing the amount of water they use and how to save some money on the side. So while we might not have ALL the answers on money saving tips and tricks, we do have quite a few valuable points regarding saving water.
The Water Crises in South Africa
No one can deny the fact that we are facing a water crises in South Africa. Since 2013, nearly every province’s urban areas and agricultural sectors have had water restrictions due to drought conditions.
As of July 2019, many major metro areas such as Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria have water restrictions in place. These water restrictions are not expected to be lifted anytime soon.
According to News24, this is due to a few challenges unique to South Africa. These challenges make it hard for South Africa to achieve water security:
- The geographic position of a country that influences climate and weather systems.
- Rapid population growth and increasing water demand.
- Limited investment in water infrastructure and projects.
- Corruption and mismanagement of water resources resulting in public mistrust and lack of confidence in the leadership of state departments.
- Fragile social and institutional capacity which threatens effective governance.
Therefore, it is paramount for the citizens of South Africa to start getting actively involved in reducing water wastage in every possible area.
How to save water
As promised, we will be providing you with some valuable tips and tricks to reduce your water usage. As previously mentioned, there are various sectors in which water is used. In this post, we will be focussing on how you can reduce your water usage in your home.
How to save water in your home
The domestic sector accounts for almost 30% of all water used in South Africa. That might not seem like a lot, but this sector is second in line when it comes to which sectors use the most water in the country. So how can you save water at home and in your living area?
In the bathroom
- Get a shower bucket!
No one gets into a cold shower! We wait for the water to run hot before we jump in. All that cold water is going to waste. Get a bucket for the shower and place it under the cold running water. You can reuse this water in the toilet (to flush), or to water some plants!
- Turn off that tap!
You know when you’re washing your hands or brushing your teeth, you kind of just dose off and leave that tap running? Imagine how much water goes to waste if everyone in the household does this? Make sure to close the tap while you’re not using the water.
We know, this tip might not be for everyone, but if you look at the facts, the toilet is one of the items in the house that uses the most water. Why flush when you don’t need to?
- Reduce flushing water
Okay, so the if it’s yellow, let it mellow doesn’t seem like your type of “how to save” tip. Well, did you know that older toilets use way more water than is necessary? An easy way to make a difference is by putting a 2 liter water bottle in your toilet tank. This will significantly reduce the amount of water you use per flush! (DO NOT USE A BRICK. A brick can damage your toilet)
- Be a fixtures fanatic
Did you know that some taps use more water than others? Any reputable hardware store will have faucets, showerheads and other accessories to reduce the amount of water being released per minute. Some of these showerheads reduce water usage by up to 40%.
In the Kitchen
- Reuse cooking water
Boiling pasta, eggs or potatoes? Don’t waste that water! Let it chill on the stove after cooking, and once it’s cooled down, water your plants with that water! Don’t let it go to waste down the drain.
- Only wash when needed
Have a dishwashing machine? Don’t do the dishes every single night. Wait until the dishwasher is jam-packed and then let it blast! The same applies to your washing machine. Furthermore, this will also help you reduce electricity usage (you can thank us later). Additionally, if you’re looking at purchasing a dishwasher or washing machine, there are many with “eco” or “water-saving” settings. Always try to opt for those to save water!
- Regularly check for leaks
Check for any obvious leaks along your pipes (A specific patch of exceptionally green grass, compared to your otherwise dead or dying grass, may indicate an underground leak.) Additionally, you can compare your water bill with the previous month’s bills. A significant increase may indicate an unseen leak.
- Use grey water to water your plants
Grey water is any water that is a by-product of household chores/uses like dishwashing water, shower water, bathwater etc. Ensure that the chemicals you use for washing etc. are not harmful to your plants before streamlining ahead with this tip.
- Install a Rainwater Harvesting Tank
Harvest all that lovely (free) rainwater that is falling from the sky! The water can be used for gardening, household chores and cleaning! Even for drinking if you have the right system installed
How to save money
So now you want to know how any of this will be saving you money. Well, it’s simple. If you are in this for the long-run a few of the tips and tricks mentioned above will save you money.
As mentioned previously, doing the dishes and washing when the machine is completely filled up will already result in less electricity usage, which means a lower electricity bill (which no one will ever complain about).
But one of the tips can save you a significant amount of money monthly:
Installing a rainwater harvesting tank:
What is a rainwater harvesting tank?
It is a tank specifically designed to help you harvest your rainwater. What makes this system so unique?
- Outlet options, allowing for any inlet/outlet configuration.
- 450mm threaded lid with removable filter screen (conforming to international standards).
- 50mm overflow outlet with mosquito-proof stainless steel mesh.
- Corrugated shaped body for added strength, to maintain cool stored water and to ventilate the surrounding area.
- Available in either from as small as 1,000 liters up to 60,000-liter storage tanks available.
This system with various inlet and outlet points is connected to your roof to harvest the rainwater flowing from it.
How will this rainwater tank help me save money?
- You can reduce your household dependence on main water systems by 70% with the collection of rainwater from rooftops and a water storage solution.
- No need to drive around looking to gather water during unexpected water cuts.
- Adds to your property value.
Can we drink the rainwater in our water tank?
Remember that the water flows over roof tiles and gutters before making it’s way into the tank. While rainwater is very pure and clean, it does pick up a few contaminants while flowing from your roof into the tank.
Therefore, if you are looking to drink the water from this tank, you need to install a small filtration system (nothing too fancy) to make the water safe for human and animal consumption.
What can you use the water for without a filtration system?
- Irrigation of your garden
- Flushing the toilet
- Cleaning around the house
- Dishes and washing (after boiling)
Start saving water and money today! Order your very own Rainwater Harvesting tank and system today!