Onus on all to save

Michele Marais, Somerset West

My husband and I are retired, and so have time for the extra time it takes to implement the following water saving ideas, most of which, if not all, have no doubt already been thought of.

In my opinion, 100 litres of water per day per person is way too much.

This is six kilolitres a month for a household of two, and is what we used to use in the days of plenty.

This was enough to water the garden, keep a swimming pool topped plus all the usual needs of keeping the home and occupants clean.

Now our water usage pans out as follows…

I no longer use the dish washer because I cannot harvest the water and I found that I was always having to wash pots and pans by hand anyway.

I wash up once a day and I use plastic bowls in the sink because they hold less water.

I put a little bit of bleach in the rinsing water so that it can be retained for the washing of hands throughout the day and finally used at the end of the day to rinse out the sink.

The washing water gets chucked on the garden. Volume of water used… about 15 litres. Oh, and when I wash my hair I do so at the kitchen sink and use the water to wash the dishes.

A health hazard?

No, I don’t think so, as the dishes are rinsed in bleach water.

When we shower we catch 99% of the water in a bowl large enough to stand in, and end up with about 25 litres water (between the two of us), which is used for flushing the toilet.

Chucking water into the toilet bowl is not very effective, but one of our toilet cisterns has a lid that can be removed (not being connected to the flushing apparatus), so we have closed off the water supply and feed the cistern from a bucket.

Mellow yellow is all very well but it still stinks!

I reckon we consume about six litres a day for drinking and cooking (prefer wine anyway), so with showering and washing up that adds up to 46 litres a day, but I’m not done yet.

Doing the laundry uses a lot of water.

Many people do a couple of washes a day, but is this really really necessary?

In good times it’s great to have a clean set of clothes every day, and a change of towels and bed linen once or twice a week.

We are only two people and we find we can get by with two loads a week.

One load can use up to 60 litres, so that’s another 120 litres a week.

All the water is saved and used on the garden.So, 46 litres a day is 322 a week, plus two washes a week makes 442 litres a week.

I know that what we do is not feasible for everyone, some people really do have to have clean clothes every day.

We no longer top up the pool as we have invested in a pool cover (which saves enormously on electricity and chemicals), and we bought a second-hand portable pool which is filled from any rain collected from the roof.

Is there anything else we can do?