A Special Focus on Water Conservation this National Water Week
18 March 2022

A Special Focus on Water Conservation this National Water Week

National Water Week 2022 commences on 20 March until 26 March 2022.  The main aim of the National Water Week campaign is to educate the general public and stakeholders on how vital water conservation efforts are, and to raise awareness on the importance of protecting the quality of the South African water resources.

National Water Week 2022 commences on 20 March until 26 March 2022. The main aim of the National Water Week campaign is to educate the general public and stakeholders on how vital water conservation efforts are, and to raise awareness on the importance of protecting the quality of the South African water resources.

We hear about it all the time – the importance of water.  The importance of quality drinking water, and the importance of ensuring clean water for all, including that of future generations. But do we really understand what that means?

It’s often easy to forget how valuable water is, when water is so readily available to us. We simply open up our taps, and out comes clean water.  South Africa is one of the few countries in the world where tap water is still generally safe for drinking in most areas across the country.

It’s also incredibly important to understand how many communities go without access to clean, running water from the taps in their home in the way that many South African’s have access to.

In the larger scale of things, access to clean running water in South Africa benefits us all. Access to clean running water not only means that people are able to survive by having drinking water, it also means that they are able to maintain daily basic hygiene in a time that hand washing has become so important. There is also an important focus on the quality of our current water systems and water availability. Effluent water is an increasingly unfortunate event occurring in South Africa and can lead to sickness and the contamination of once pure drinking water sources.

It's often only fully understood, the importance of water and water conservation, when we are living through and experiencing a drought first hand. It’s almost as human beings, that we do not fully understand how good we have something – until it’s gone.

This is especially true for many Capetonians who lived through one of the worst droughts the province experienced during 2015 through to 2018. Those three years led to households having to severely limit their water usage and learning water conservation methods that they had never had to implement prior to the looming ‘day zero’.

Even though these droughts come and go… there is always the saying that ‘future generations will not believe that we used to wash perfectly good drinking water down the toilet’ – a statement that makes you stop and think. There are so many ways in which we can make the effort to increase our water conservation efforts, use less water and the water that we do use, use it wisely. 

 

 

How to Conserve Water at Home

There are so many small ways in which we can work to use less water in our everyday lives. Small ways that amount to massive water savings – and if each person, and each household made these small changes, that there will be enough water for our generation, as well as our future generations.

  1. Water Leaks

    One of the biggest, and most silent water consumptions in a household are often water leaks. They could be small water leaks outside of your home that you may not even be aware of. If you notice an unusually high water bill, this is typically a sign that something isn’t right.

    The first step you need to take, is to ensure that all taps are turned off and no water is being used in the house and go outside to your water meter.  Watch your water meter – if it’s ticking over and moving and you know all the taps are closed inside – it’s time to call out a plumber or leak detection specialist to see where you have a leak.

    Typical tell-tale signs such as lush green grass or moss growing in spot outside your house can signal a leak – walk around your home and look for such occurrences, even around the perimeter of your home.

    It’s also been proven that the toilet cisterns are a high contributor to household, commercial and industrial leaks, and by the time we receive our water bill we could have easily wasted thousands of litres of potable water.  Therefore it strongly recommended that we do regular maintenance and inspection on the discharge valve in our cisterns ensuring that the washers and seals are in mint condition.

  2. Dripping Taps

    A dripping tap is more than just an annoyance in your home. A dripping tap may seem like only a small amount of water is being wasted, but those tiny little drops add up over time, and the amount they add up to can make a significant dent in your water consumption – as well as your water bill.

    Fix dripping taps as soon as possible – oftentimes it’s a simple washer replacement inside of the tap. Treat your taps with care when closing them, don’t close them too tightly as this can wear down washers sooner than they would usually.

  3. Turn off the Tap

    This sounds like a simple one, but many people and especially children, may leave the tap running whilst they wash dishes, their hands or their teeth.  Those seconds that the tap is left running can have a devastating impact on your water consumption. Most taps on average use between 4-8 litres of water per minute.

    By closing the tap for those 10 seconds whilst brushing your teeth, lathering your hands or washing that plate, you could be saving anything from 2-4 litres of water per minute! That’s a lot of water, the average person drinks 2-4 litres of water per day – to put that into perspective.

  4. Shorten Showers

    This one is a no brainer really - take shorter showers. Generally speaking showers use less water than baths, but this can really depend on how long you shower for. A good rule of thumb is to time yourself having a shower, and then try to decrease that time ever day.

    If perhaps you take 10 minutes in the shower, set a timer for 8 minutes for your next shower and try be out the shower before your timer goes off. Each day set the timer for a minute or two less until you’ve reached your best shower time!

  5. Drought-Resistant Gardens

    Watering your garden can use up a lot of water. Installing more stones or bricks and reducing how much grass you have can be a great way to reduce how much lawn watering needs to take place.

    Planting hardy, drought-resistant plants such as Agapanthus, aloes or Strelitzias. Dymondia is a great alternative for ground cover in areas where one would usually place grass. 

  6. Water conscious car washes

    You may think that by washing your car at home you are helping to conserve water – but it can be very hard to wash and rinse off your car without using a lot of water. There are plenty of water saving car washes available these days that make use of water-smart technology.

    Alternatively, make use of a bucket of water to wash your car at home, instead of a running hose pipe. 

  7. Install Water Saving Taps

    One of the easiest means of conserving your water consumption in your home is by installing water saving taps, showerheads and accessories such as tap aerators.

    The Cobra Water Saving Collection is a range of water-saving taps and mixers that were created with water conservation in mind. 

  8. Flow Restrictors and Shower Heads

    Cobra pressure compensating Flow Restrictors reduce the water flow rate to 6l of water per minute and are easy to install on existing aerated taps. Cobra Water-saving shower heads can save a household up to 360 litres per day, without compromising on shower experience and efficiency. These shower heads are also perfect for households that experience low water pressure and they’re easy to install yourself.

    Hand showers also make a great solution for water saving capabilities. Hand showers provide a powerful, direct showering experience. Rinsing hair for example, is faster and far more efficient by means of a hand shower. Cobra Breathe and Pause Showers are fantastic duo-shower options for the family home. 

  9. Electronic Taps

    Cobra Electronic Taps are the perfect solution for the family home with a concern for water consumption. These taps turn on automatically by means of a sensor when hands are placed in front of them, and they turn off when the hands are removed.

    This means no running water when it’s not being used – the perfect solution for little people brushing their hands and teeth, and for easy dish washing purposes in the kitchen. 

  10. Re-use Water

    We can’t avoid the need to use water in our homes – water is an important part of our everyday lives and is incredibly important for hygiene and survival. What we can do, is find ways to re-use our water.

    Place a bucket in the shower so that it can collect the running water whilst you wait for the water to heat up to the right temperature. Take this bucket after your shower and use it to flush your toilet or to water your garden.

    There are other systems you can set up in your home such as water collection tanks and pipes that take used tap water from the home and collect it for use in the garden, as well as rainwater tanks that collect water during rainfall.

We hope that these tips help you and your family to contribute to the conservation of our vital water supplies in South Africa, this week and always.  Cobra. Here For You.