Saving water is saving me money

So, the date for Day Zero, the day we may have to queue for water, keeps shifting and Capetonians are asking whether the goods they’ve bought to save water will become white elephants.

The first date for taps running dry was set to be Monday May 21, then Thursday April 12, then four days later, then June 4, and now it is July 9.

According to the City of Cape Town, Day Zero is the day combined dam storage reaches 13.5%, at which point the municipality will shut down the water supply system in large parts of Cape Town and implement water collection points.

I think the more I can save on my budget the better.

To avoid any possible scares with my bill, the “new normal” of water conserving practices continues and creative juices have been flowing to find ways of saving every drop.

From the spray bottle, to the squeeze bottle, and the grey water I pour into the toilet cistern, I am in tune with saving and aware of how much water I use to unnecessarily waste.

I have also noted a considerable drop in my water bill!

My colleague and her family of six survive only on free water and her bill is at an impressive zero, so I’m trying to get there.

In the long run, the water-saving devices will save me money.

I am on a mission to beat even the punitive tariffs that will charge residentsexponentiallyhigher rates for water usage above 6 000 litres a month. It has almost doubled to about four cents a litre as of Thursday February 1 when Level 6b restrictions came into effect.

These restrictions make it compulsory for residents to use no more than 50 litres per person per day, to stretch our dwindling supplies through summer and into the winter months and thereby avoid the drastic step of having to queue for water at designated points.

The drought has also made me start recycling other things.

One water-saving tip that came from several WhatsApp messages included the use of paper plates so you have fewer dishes to

Now this will save water but will send more waste to our already overflowing landfills.

One suggestion was to simply throw the paper plates into the fire if you are having a braai.

Another idea was to fill a spray bottle with dishwashing liquid and water so you could wipe down your dirty dishes.

I called New Earth, who collected my recycled goods from my home for free. They sort, clean, reuse, recycle and distribute any useful items to charity groups.

Water saving tips:

Water used to rinse dishes can be used to wash a second load of items. This soapy water sprayed over the garden is a great insecticide.

Fill a plastic bottle with water. Puncture the bottle about a quarter way up and poke a straw through it. Secure the hole with some adhesive. Simply squeeze the bottle to get the water to flow through the straw.

Stock up on wet wipes and sanitiser for cleaning hands. If you are allergy prone or have sensitive skin, recipes for homemade sanitiser can be found online.

Here’s one:

Five drops of lemon essential oil

Five drops of tea tree oil

Five drops of Vitamin E oil

Two tablespoons of witch hazel

One small spray bottle (30ml or more)

Pour all the ingredients into the spray bottle and shake. Use as needed and allow to air dry.