Water Saving tips

Here are some good websites and pages to look at and keep track of news and info on our current situation:

1. Click here for Cape Town Gov's water page                                

2. Click here for a simple tool that the City just put out

3. Some Facebook groups to join:     
  • "Water Shedding Western Cape"
  • "ShowMe Paarl"
4. A Youtube presentation: Tackling the Challenge of a drier Cape Town:

(Read other peoples tips here or scroll to the bottom to send yours in!)

  • Every time you flush the toilet, you can waste up to 35 litres of water. So why not just flush when necessary?
  • Collect water from cleaning, showering (have a bucket in the shower) and use it to flush the toilet
  • Check your appliances, washing machines & dish-washers, in particular. Always have a full load, check which cycle uses the least water.
  • Make sure you have NO water leaks.
  • Think about getting a water tank. Harvest the rainwater that runs off your roof. 
  • I have a large basin in my shower from which I fill a bucket for distribution to the toilets.(An Aunt uses her shower water for her top loader washing machine, and then uses it in the loo!). I can wash very satisfactorily - and that includes a shave in the shower - on just on a bucket of water (which I think is about 8 litres). 
  • Shower, wash up into buckets - use for flushing or (limited) watering - all within the 87L. Briefly wet under the shower, turn off and then soap all over and quickly rinse - can be less than 2 minutes running the shower. Flush only when Absolutely necessary. 
  • Leave your wheelbarrow outside during rain and gather 10 to 20 Litres of water for use in flushing toilets. 
  • Follow the advise on this pages, we are 9 people on the property and use between 5000l - 6000l per month. It can be done with a bit of effort. 
  • Buy a large flat basin and stand in that whilst showering. Pour your grey water into a bucket with a 'pour spout' and then into your cistern. 
  • It always takes a while before the shower runs hot. Hold a jug under the shower nozzle to capture this water so that you can then use it for the kettle, etc. through the day. 
  • We have been doing the one foot in each of two buckets in shower trick since late 2016, using the water to flush, as a result only flushing when absolutely essential
  • We run water into a bucket until hot, then literally shower for a few seconds until wet, turning water off whilst soaping the whole body. Then shower again for less than a minute to rinse off. We shower immediately one after the other and so do not have to waste water getting shower hot again. We boil water and fill a thermos jug before bed time for use next morning forshaving etc thus no need to waste water waiting for it to get hot. We have waterless hand wash in bathrooms and kitchen for hand washing. A recently installed borehole supplies water which we use to fill a basin in kitchen sink to rinse dishes during the day and have one dish washing session with boiled Bore Hole water each evening. No dish washer in use. Bore hole water also used for floor and window cleaning and other non cooking tasks. No Washing machine is on economy wash and only used with a full load. We wash towels and bedding less frequently without compromising hygiene. I use a laundry ball which is ideal for laundry that is not heavily soiled e.g. towels bedding and most clothing. This runs through just a wash cycle and as no detergent is involved, no rinsing is necessary, therefore just need to switch onto drain and spin cycle. I collect drinking water from Newlands Spring [when time allows] which we use for drinking and cooking purposes. Final tip I use water drained from wilting spinach or cooking other veggies as a base for soups. As we live in a residential complex we try to educate other residents as well as our security, cleaning and domestic staff on the need to conserve water. We have introduced buckets of bore hole water in the security bathroom to encourage minimum flushing and for hand washing. 
  • I harvest rainwater from a down-pipe that collects water from three roof-segments, draining into a cascade of two cat-litter trays, one with a lip creating a waterfall into the other. I sometimes put on rain-gear during a shower to decant the litter-trays into the wheelie-bin. When the wheelie-bin is full I decant into my wheelbarrow and my two watering-cans. On the side of the house, a presently poorly aligned gutter pours water over the side during showers. I harvest much of that via a sloping square of wood, which diverts the water into a hemispherical disused sand-filter cap. We also have two fish-ponds and two bird-baths. I keep a third watering-can full of rainwater for washing condensation off my car windows each morning, the car being parked overnight in the driveway. Inside the house, I use the rainwater, via a 9-litre plastic bucket, to refill our 9-litre cistern. At present I am only dealing with one toilet, but I may also deal with our second toilet, which has an 11-litre cistern. While harvesting rainwater in our wet season, one obvious lesson learned is that rainfall is episodic, whereas water-usage is continual. This mimics the City's usage of water and the seasonal replenishment of our dams. I am a UCT Geology contemporary of Dr Chris Hartnady of UMVOTO in Muizenberg, who with his wife, Rowena, both being geologists, have pioneered research into abundant groundwater in the Table Mountain Group aquifer, specifically within the joints of the Peninsula Formation that forms the cliffs of Table Mountain. Due to erosion, Table Mountain has the aquifer, the Peninsula Formation, but the aquiclude (aquitard) of the mudstones of the Cedarberg Formation has been eroded away, which is not the case near Citrusdal, where artesian water feeds a hot spring. In the 1970s, I worked with geohydrologists of the Department of Water Affairs, along the coastal plain between Noordhoek and Lambert's Bay, logging hundreds of boreholes in an open aquifer (no aquiclude above it), which is recharged by annual wet-season rainfall, when the water-table rises, causing "flooding" in the informal settlements of the Cape Flats. Were the Cape Plats open aquifer to be exploited, it would lower the wet-season (winter) water-table and "flooding" would be less of a problem. A win-win situation.
Email Address:

Water Saving Tip:



Christ Church Kenilworth  |  Cnr Summerley & Richmond Road  |  Tel: +27 (021) 797 6332  | E-mail: reception@cck.org.za
Service Times: Sunday Worship  8.00am, 10.00am & 6.30pm  |  Wednesday Service: 10am   | Tuesday Quiet Service: 6.30pm (fortnightly)

Taryn Galloway, 06/05/2015