We have had water restrictions in place for just more than two months, the restrictions having been announced on August 31. We were then using approximately 50 million litres a day more than what we were allocated by the Department of Water and Sanitation.
The residents of the metro have done well, but not well enough unfortunately. From using 50 million litres a day too much in August, we managed to drop to 39 million litres a day too much in September and then to 29 million litres too much each day during October.
So, although we have very definitely become more water wise, we are still abstracting more water from our dams every day than we can afford. We therefore need to drop our usage by a further 29 million litres a day to meet our targets.
This equates to the need for every formal household in the metro to save an extra 100l a day. We will then be on track to bring our water usage down to where it needs to be.
Saving 100l of water a day is simple for most households. A sixminute shower will use about 120l litres of water. Four people showering a day will use 480l. Cutting that shower down to four minutes will save 40l per person and 160l for the household.
A running tap uses 6l of water a minute. Turning the tap off while brushing your teeth will save about 15l per brush.
A four-person household brushing their teeth twice a day will save 120l every single day.
A toilet uses 12l to 15l per flush. An average four-person household will flush the toilet at least 20 times in a day, using at least 240l. Only flushing when necessary can halve the volume needed – another saving of 100l per day.
It just takes a water-wise attitude and a little discipline. We cannot afford not to do this.