Save water

save water, drought, western cape, water conservation, tips, plug it, environment, water
This picture was taken near Oudtshroon on our road trip around South Africa last year. This is not a sign of a healthy waterfall

Plugs in people, this just got real. Even the eternal optimists in Cape Town have finally realized that the rain isn’t coming and the dam levels are dangerously low. Actually, that’s a gross understatement. The time has come to save water and be dramatic about it.

Reality of Drought

Cape Town dams are at 11.2%. And the last 10% isn’t drinkable. So why are we still flushing our toilets with our drinking water? I can’t actually wrap my head around it. I don’t know why it had never bothered me up until a few days ago.

Despite all the inventions in the world, why has no one linked the drain of the bath, to the cistern of the toilet? We can put a man on the moon but we still send our shower water down the drain and flush using fresh, clean water?

I literally wake up every morning, longing to hear the sound of rain on my window. I check the weather forecast 3 times a day in the hope that there is some rain on the horizon. Every time the clouds gather I hold my breath. Only to have the wind blow them away (before they’ve had a chance to release some much needed precipitation).

It may not help much, and it certainly won’t undo the wastage but here are 3 things I’ve started doing recently to try and conserve water.

Save Water

  1. Plug it – I plug every sink and collect water so that it can be scooped into the cistern to flush the toilet. This works particularly well since our shower is over a bath. By the time the water has reached the right temperature, I am already almost ankle deep in water. All that was going down the drain. Now it gets used to flush the loo.
  2. Save it – kettles and half full cups of water get thrown into the garden. Or used to cool down a sink full of hot water before washing dishes. While waiting for the hot water to run into the sink, that water gets captured into bottles and stored in the fridge for drinking water.
  3. Consider it –If you are filling a glass/jug/bucket from the tap for anything else other than to eat, drink and wash yourself, ask yourself, is there any other way I can do this? Every drop wasted to keep your grass green or wash your car needs to be reconsidered. Please don’t be the reason why we find our taps running dry within the next few months.

There are loads more tips that others have come up with and I have been pleasantly surprised by the level of commitment of a few friends on my social media feeds. The situation is pretty desperate and by being aware of what you waste, it has made me realize how much trouble we’ll be in when there is actually nothing left.


  1. Diana Studer

    May 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Yes. I call myself green, but after picking up ideas from a FB watershedding group, we have step by step reduced our daily consumption for two adults from 400 litres, to 170 with the washing machine, and 130 for the survival – eat, cook and wash.

    1. rumtumtiggs

      June 16, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      That is brilliant Diana. Well done. We have a long way to go still but, we’re getting there 😉

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