Saving Water Like A Local While Visiting Cape Town

Jan 3, 2018


After our visit to Cape Town, I could not believe the severity of the situation in their current drought due to unseasonably dry winters recently. News stories predict that ‘Day Zero’ — the day that the taps run dry and water will have to be collected from designated areas monitored by military — is looming. That said, with all the posters and news headlines, you don’t quite realise how serious it is until you see the buckets in the showers; the non-existent bath plugs and the empty pools for yourself. It made me realise that we should all be mindful of water usage no matter the current situation — our own Day Zero could be around the corner for us too, so let’s all ‘Save Water Like a Local’. Let’s make people aware tweet it below!

We should all be mindful of our water usage & #SaveLikeALocal even while travelling! Click To Tweet

At the moment, the water usage limit in Cape Town per person is 87 litres! That means even travellers are limited in terms of their water usage. Hotels such as the One and Only and The Vineyard warn guests on their website about the water restrictions they will face on their visit in order to ensure they are hyperaware of the severity of the situation. As a regular traveller myself, I will always commit to travel to a destination as a responsible traveller in whatever context that means in each specific destination we travel to. In Cape Town, that means doing the following!

#1: Every shower and basin should have a bucket to collect water that can be used in the garden or to refill the pool. 

This is definitely something I am going to try even back in Canada — and why not?! If we all leave water conservation till our own Day Zero looms, we will all be in serious trouble. It only takes a few extra minutes in our day to be aware of not wasting any water.

Cape Town

On our recent visit to Cape Town, we were super mindful of all our water usage!

#2: Try to flush the toilet as little as possible.

Each flush uses between 6 and 14 litres, depending on the kind of toilet — and that makes me feel guilty knowing how much I go to the bathroom! So your rule of thumb is: If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. If you feel awkward leaving anything in the loo for strangers, at least try use the same loo as your friends or family and flush at the very end. If someone else has left something in the loo for you, don’t be squeamish and flush before you go yourself. In any case, if it’s a public loo you should probably be squatting! 😉

#3: Use a cup to rinse your mouth when you brush your teeth rather than letting the taps run.

Remember to always turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your hair. It’s a super simple act, but can save up to 9 litres of water! 

#4: Limit your showers to 2 minutes.

While we all love soaking in a long, relaxing, bubble-bath, this is a big no-no and many hotels have since taken away the option all together — can anyone find the bath plugs?? Ditch the tub! Filling a bath uses around 80 litres of water, while a 2-minute shower uses around 16-20 litres. The water-saving over time is undeniable!

Cape Town Save Like A Local

#5: Report leaking taps and toilets as soon as you notice them.

Leaks are more serious than you think! Fixing any leaks could result in saving 400 – 2600 litres of water per month! If you would like to check whether you have a leak on your property, stop all water use on the property by switching off all taps and not flushing any toilets. Take a reading of your water meter and then do it again after 15 minutes. If there is a difference, you more than likely have a leak!

#6: Reuse towels and monitor your washing loads

Instead of leaving towels on the bathroom floor to be washed daily, hang them up and reuse them. Most hotels have recognised that by enforcing these new protocols, we can all save a lot of water by reusing the same towel for a few days. The same goes for laundry if your accommodation has this facility. Rather wait until you’ve accumulated enough laundry for a full wash, instead of washing a few items at a time.

Join the #SaveLikeALocal Campaign and share these tips on your social media! 

We can all #SaveLikeALocal in Cape Town! Be a responsible traveller! Click To Tweet

~ L


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