South Africa and many other countries around the equator are in the clutches of a severe drought, the effects of which are resonating through all spheres of life. A limited water supply has a very tangible impact on the individual and on a country’s economy at large. We can each do our bit to use water sparingly and see to it that fewer people and animals go thirsty and hungry. Remember always that all water is holy water. Having previously worked as an engineer in the water treatment environment, I am aware of how much of energy and investment is required to purify water to a suitable standard. With water quality deteriorating worldwide, this is a more and more challenging and expensive feat. Show your appreciation to God or mother earth and your society by conserving this precious resource.
1. Submerge dirty dishes in a sink or bowl of water immediately after use, this will make it much easier to clean since dirt and grime are not given an opportunity to harden and dry thus saving water. Better yet, let the sink fill up with water from your hand washings or other not so dirty activities so you don’t need to fill it up with clean water. Thereafter, sponge and rinse clean.
2. Today’s modern tap handles make it easy to open taps fully. Instead, open your tap to the minimum water flow required.
3. Many people have timers on their garden sprinklers so that they automatically start at specified periods. Make sure your sprinklers are switched off on or after rainy days. Try to minimise water usage on your lawn. If your grass springs back when you step on it, it does not need a watering just yet. In times of drought you may choose not to water your garden at all The grass will become dormant and turn green again when you resume watering or it starts raining.
4. If you let the tap run to adjust the temperature, have a vessel ready to collect the unused water and use this water to wash hands or water the garden etc.
5. Wash children’s hands in a bowl or in a stoppered sink. Children tend to waste much water washing their hands since they are not as efficient at it. Washing their hands in an appropriately sized vessel of water will minimise wastage. Always supervise this activity.
6. Even Barney knows to “never let the water run” . When you are brushing your teeth, shaving, washing the dishes etc., make sure to close the tap when you are not using the water.
7. Reducing, reusing and recycling packaging and other materials in your home will also save water because all manufacturing processes use water in some way or the other. Use of water through industrial activity is significant. So reduce the need for unnecessary industrial processing to save water. In the same vein – do not waste food! Agricultural activity consumes large quantities of water too.
8. Think batch process. Filling an appropriately sized vessel for use in washing clothes or dishes etc. usually saves water as opposed to washing under a tap.
9. It is easy to lose yourself in the shower and afterwards let the water run just a little longer. Keep the focus in the shower and get what you need to get done, DONE. Not a moment longer. Because you would rather have your thirst quenched than sing in the shower.
10. Often saving water is just about being conscious of your use of water every time you use it. Keep the value of water in your mind always. Understand and remember that your actions with regards to water use, impact people and the environment. All water is Holy water.