Tag Archives: water conservation

Water security and ideas to reduce your water consumption


Water security is the ability of a society to make sure that they keep on having the means to access potable water. It has become a growing dilemma as a result of many factors including population growth, drought, climate change, El Niño and La Niña, urbanisation, salinity, upstream pollution, over-allocation of water licences by and over use of groundwater from artesian basins ultimately causing a water crisis in several regions of the world.

A water crisis can be described as a scenario where the readily available potable, unpolluted water within a region is less than the demand.The United Nations along with other world organizations believe that there are several locations around the world that already have water crises such that it is a global issue.

The following are some solutions to lower your daily water consumption:

  • While washing dishes by hand, avoid letting the water run while you are rinsing. Fill one sink with water to wash and the other with water to rinse.
  • Water your lawn and garden when temperature conditions are cooler to reduce evaporation. If at all possible in the morning or evening hours.
  • Rinse off your vegetables and fruits in a pot of water as opposed to letting your tap run.
  • Accumulate the water you use to wash fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water indoor plants.
  • Spread out a layer of organic and natural mulch around plants which will help to retain moisture as well as saves water, time and money.
  • Start using a broom as opposed to a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk.
  • Test your shower. In the event your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in under 20 seconds, substitute the shower head with a water-efficient model.
  • People are more prone to noticing leaks indoors, bear in mind to examine outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
  • When purchasing a new washing machine, give some thought to those that provide you with cycle and load size adjustments. They’re significantly more water and energy efficient.
  • Upgrade older toilets with water efficient units.

Simple convenient solutions to save energy and money



Do you dislike the arrival of your monthly electricity bill and yet end up reluctant or not able to invest the cash necessary to convert your home into a self-sustainable house. Nowadays, it’s even more of a win-win than ever before to reduce and save money on electricity. Any time you reduce your electricity bills, you put additional money straight into bank account. Reducing electricity bills will also mean a reduced amount of energy consumed, which translates to significantly less harmful emissions introduced into the environment. What makes this an even better deal is basically that you don’t have to renovate your home (or perhaps purchase a new one) to make it a great deal more energy efficient.

There are several simple, far more convenient solutions to save energy and money.




Remove and replace your incandescent light bulbs with power saving CFL’S

Among the most effective ways to avoid wasting electricity is simply by getting rid of your incandescent lightbulbs. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) utilize 75% less power when compared with old incandescent bulbs, as well as last considerably longer. Keep in mind that CFLs contain small quantities of harmful chemicals, as a result it is advisable to dispose of them safely and securely. The most effective way is always to take them to safe ‘drop off’ points. New ‘light-emitting diodes’, or LEDs, are substantially more efficient than CFLs, in addition to lasting 130 times longer than CFL bulbs. Having said that, they have limited applications in homes at this time, but are excellent substitutes for halogen down-lighting. They save quite possibly the most energy; and even though they might be at present highly-priced the cost will be coming down as the technology develops.


Use power strips

Connect your electronic devices directly into power strips and switch off at night when the electronic devices commonly are not being used. This is applicable to computers, printers, TVs, DVD players and stereos along with lights and other appliances. Turn off appliances at the wall plug, instead of leaving them on standby simply because this can continue to draw approximately 20% or even more of typical electricity use. Switching your electronics off during the night with a power strip can help to conserve as much as 10 percent on your electricity bill.



Reduce your geyser temperature

Maintaining the geyser temperature at 60 degrees celsius utilizes substantially less electricity (energy) as compared to maintaining a temperature of 70 degrees celsius. This is most effective when geyser and pipes are insulated. Don’t reduce it below 60 degrees celsius for health reasons. Insulate the geyser with a geyser ‘blanket’ to optimize heat retention. First Verify heat loss simply by using a basic ‘hand test’. In the event that the geyser is warm then it’s shedding heat and requires more effective insulation. In particular with older geysers. Furthermore, dont forget to turn off the geyser when you are going on vacation.




Regulate your heating and air conditioning

It is highly recommended to set your thermostat to 20 degrees celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) whenever you are home and 12.8 degrees celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) during the night. Wear a sweater in the daytime and make use of an additional blanket at night. Make use of fans to cool down. During the summer time, utilize stationary, ceiling and whole-house fans to cool down your house, as a consequence decreasing the necessity for air conditioning.


Ensure that your freezer is full

A further recommendation is to maintain a full freezer. A full freezer is far more efficient and cost-effective than one with only a few products in it. Purchase in season fruits and vegetables and freeze them for use throughout the year. Make an additional casserole or portion of stew and keep it in the freezer for a hassle-free meal in the future. Whenever you cook you should definitely make extra in order to enjoy a few no-cook or low-cook meals. Leftover meats, poultry and fish can be combined with salads or useful for sandwiches. Extra vegetables could very well be added to eggs for a quick omelet or perhaps to cooked rice for a light lunch.


Insulate the ceiling and roof

A ceiling and good roof insulation is able to keep the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. More comfortable indoor temperatures translates to considerably less dependence on electrical heating and air conditioning. Insulating other areas of your home can also help, however, the greatest savings come from roof insulation.


Install weather strip protection

In combination with thinking about whether or not your house has a sufficient amount of insulation, it’s also advisable to look for any small cracks and gaps where air is leaking into and out of your home. Ensure that your doors and windows are effectively sealed. This will certainly save energy by preventing hot air (in winter) or cool air (in summer) from escaping.



Switch off lights whenever you leave a room

Never leave the lights on. Despite the fact that it usually is convenient to have the garage light on whenever you open the door, it does not take a whole lot of effort and hard work to turn it on. Every time you leave a room, simply turn off the lights.


Utilize a smaller amount of hot water

Decrease the amount of hot usage by taking a shower as opposed to a bath. Furthermore, take shorter showers. Install an efficient shower head. A good, modern product will conserve both water and electricity without having to compromise your shower experience, and the saving more often than not will pay for the investment within a few weeks or months. Only fill up the kettle as much as you need it. As opposed to doing small loads of dishes or laundry, hold off until the washing machine or dishwasher is full. Performing fewer loads will reduce energy as well as water expenses. Use cold water where possible for laundry washing.


Make use of energy-efficient home appliances

For anyone who is in the market for new appliances, ensure that you look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label prior to making a purchase. Energy Star home appliances use somewhere between 10 and 50 percent less energy and water when compared to their conventional counterparts. They may well be more expensive than appliances without the Energy Star designation, nevertheless in most cases they will more than make up that additional cost as a result of energy savings.



New alternatives for water conservation

It is now a “moral imperative” for big businesses operating in South Africa to consider water saving strategies for their buildings, and in so doing assisting the country preserve the declining resource.

CEO of car rental company Avis, Wayne Duvenage, did not mince his words at the Sustainable Water Resource Conference and Exhibition. The event, was attended by reputable water specialists and business people and supported by the International Marketing Council of South Africa – among a range of sponsors.

Recycling water for reuse in buildings was the experts’ principal unbiased and professional recommendation. Homeowners are also encouraged to choose recycling technologies.


Avis saved 75-million litres of water in 2010 within its major centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

The Avis scheme started in 2008 with a R1.9-million (US$264 000) investment, and started paying off in 2009 the moment the company saved 4.2-million litres.

Avis has injected an additional R1.5-million ($208 000) into the building of underground water filtration and recycling facilities at its three main depots. The objective is to save a minimum of 95-million litres of water on an annual basis.

“We made a decision to recycle water for the reason that it was the right thing to do,” said Duvenage. “We’re recycling water that was going down the drain.”


The company reprocesses grey water from washing machines and baths, which is then utilized to wash the vast majority of its fleet of 20 000 rental cars, at the same time potable water from public sources continues to be accessible to employees for hygienic use.

Harvesting rainwater is a focus of Avis’ recycling endeavours. “You know how much it rains in Cape Town, consequently it’s nice to switch off municipal water and make use of rainwater,” suggested Duvenage.

It’s always encouraged for entities to examine the impact of their business on the environment, he mentioned.


Conserving a irreplaceable resource


South Africa is water-stressed, industry professionals at the conference disclosed. Reports have pointed out that the country runs the potential risk of facing critical shortages by 2020.

“South Africa is stressed both in the quantity and quantity of water that we have,” Duvenage said.

Alison Groves, a sustainability consultant at WSP Green by Design, stated: “In South Africa we need to get beyond the concept that water is always going to be readily available.”

New solutions are required to sustain potable water availability, Groves added.

Her consultancy group has established itself as a leader in the industry in the greening of major buildings, having made it easier for big companies such as Absa, Nedbank and Woolworths introduce water-saving and eco-friendly schemes in their properties.


Banking group Absa’s headquarters in in the downtown area Johannesburg have already been fitted with recycling and rainwater harvesting technology which enables it to save no less than 43 000 litres of water on a daily basis.

Retailer Woolworths’ distribution centre in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, is yet another facility with a large grey water reclamation system. Groves remarked that the centre has “irrigation ensured for 10 months per year without making use of potable water”.

Woolworths saves R1-million ($139 000) in municipal water bills per year as a result of its recycling initiatives.

Various other organizations, which includes South African Breweries, are rolling out major water-saving schemes in an attempt to help safeguard the precious resource.

Duvenage remarked that “business is beginning to alter its behaviour” in accordance with the green revolution, however, there is room for improvement. “We believe business needs to act considerably quicker,” he said.


Residences can reduce consumption


It’s not merely businesses and public entities that ought to assume the responsibility of saving water, but homeowners can play a major role at the same time.

The grey water technology of Cape Town-based Water Rhapsody, a specialist water conservation company, has demonstrated its efficiency in recent times.

Its founder Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor stated that water recycled and harvested as a result of its system is well suited for irrigation, toilet flushing, cleaning and washing.

Homes can help reduce consumption from 280 litres to “as little as 100 litres per day” and save up to 90% of their municipal water bill by utilizing the system.


“But it’s designed in such a way that you don’t change your lifestyle. You simply take control of your own supply,” said Westgarth-Taylor.

Water Rhapsody won the WWF Green Trust award in 1998 for product innovation. It’s aided the the University of Cape Town reduce potable water consumption by over 90%.

The late Kader Asmal, former Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, told Water Rhapsody, in a 2010 letter to the company, that its water recycling system helped nourish grass and shrubs in the garden of his Cape Town home.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, waterrhapsody.co.za


Shower Power Use Water Efficiently

Shower power! A full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, but taking a five-minute shower saves water by using 10 to 25 gallons. Put a little timer or clock near your shower so you can see how fast you are. Save even more water, and money on your water bill, by installing a water-efficient shower head, or ask your landlord to install one if you rent.

Source: epa.gov