PROPERTY NEWS - With an abundance of rainfall during winter, it can be difficult to imagine water scarcity in the following summer months. But, in a drought-prone country such as ours, we can be better prepared for future droughts by ensuring that this essential resource is not used carelessly.
"There are several ways that homeowners or tenants can save water in winter in and around the home, which will bring down monthly water bills and, more importantly, reduce water usage," says Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.
The first way is to ensure that all taps are closed properly and that no taps are leaking. It may seem like a relatively small thing to do; however, a tap dripping at one drip per second will waste as much as 30 litres of water in one day, equating to around 10 000 litres of water wasted over a year. "To avoid this, homeowners ought to replace tap washers regularly and fit water-saving faucets to reduce the flow of water," says Goslett.
Much like a leaking tap, a leaking toilet can waste vast amounts of water. To determine whether there is a leak, homeowners can add a few drops of food colouring into the cistern. This will highlight where, if at all, water is leaking from the toilet. If the colour seeps into the bowl, the system is leaking and should be fixed without delay.
"Homeowners could also install a water-saving toilet, which could also stand to increase the resale value of their home," says Goslett. "Those who do not have the capital to invest in this could put a brick or sealed container of sand in the cistern to reduce the amount of water used during each flush."
Although it is tempting to soak in a hot bath on cold winter evenings, Goslett reminds homeowners that showering will use far less water than bathing, provided that you shower for less than five minutes.
Provided that rainfall has been good, homeowners should try and limit themselves to only a few full baths a week. When showering, the water should not be at full force, and those who can stand the cold, can turn off the water when lathering or shaving. When shaving at the basin, use the plug rather than rinsing the razor with running water; this will save approximately 45 litres of water a month.
"Becoming a water-wise household in winter is the key to avoiding water scarcity in the summer months that follow," Goslett concludes.
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