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SharvariJ

Cape Town Water Crisis - Help?

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SharvariJ

Hello TLE,

 

As you might know, the Cape regions of South Africa are going through a terrible drought. The dams are bone-dry, overuse of water is being taxed heavily, and my family across two oceans has heard of this on their local news. Newspapers and social media posts are filled with warnings about Day Zero, i.e., the day when we shall completely run out of potable water. Rains in the normal course are not expected until April/May, and looking at the patterns over the last two years, we can't expect the rains to save us. Even if we do look forward to a heavier-than-average rainfall, Cape Town simply can't last that long. 

 

Unlike the US or East Asia, the Cape isn't at the thick of things politically. The people here are mostly Mature Souls under a Baby/Young government. The country has good relations with the rest of the world. And now we're feeling the brunt of environmental changes that the world has been predicting for decades. 

 

Here's a humble request, for suggestions on ways to save water that are also cheap. I live in a student community and most of us are always broke, so we can't afford to install recycling equipment or contraptions that circle water from the shower into the toilet. We're already limiting the number of flushes to one per day per person, skipping baths every other day, and only washing clothes once a month. We're using wet wipes and recycled paper plates and wiping our dishes down before we wash them. If any of you can suggest any other measures that will help us postpone Day Zero for as long as possible, we will be very grateful.

 

For more information and updates on the Cape Town Water Crisis, check out this website.

Edited by SharvariJ
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WolfAmethyst



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF9yYGwPcNw DIY solar water distiller out of plastic bottles

http://all-about-water-filters.com/ultimate-guide-to-solar-water-distillation/

I'm truly sorry to hear you and your neighbours are having to struggle like this.  

Have you ever seen the movie "The Life of Pi"?  The main character improvises a similar "solar still"  out of inexpensive plastic materials to supply himself with drinking water while marooned at sea.

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Ingun

 

If you can put something like this (see the picture) in the shower, or either a higher one and not so wide, or a more round one, you can stand in it while showering and collect the water into that and then use it for washing clothes after, and then use that water again for the toilet. Filling a bucket, 10 liters, to eventually flush the toilet. I hope this can help in anyway.

We used to do that in my home when I grew up. My mother didn't want to throw out the water so she used it when we had showered for soaking dirty clothes, and also for washing. She does that even today, my 80 year old artisan cast server mother - always with awareness on resources, recycle, re-use and so on. She got that imprint from the samish culture but also from growing up during and after ww2 and lacking everything.

 

 

I was reading about this two days ago, in norwegian news, and how people have been encouraged through months to use less water, but that 60% of the people egostically used more than the allowed 87 liters of water per day. All of this is especially hard on the poor people in the townships, the poorest parts, where people are getting water from outdoor waterpumps that they share with many families. Also I read that med media tend to describe or mention this crise from a perspective of the middleclass, and that some sources report that under half of the inhabitants follow the restrictions, while those who can afford it can get water in other places. Some even drill for groundwater ?

The political cooperation does not work well, since the government has delayed declaring this an area of catastrofe while the regional party Democratic Alliance wanted to do this for a long time because of the 3 years of drought. The Department of Water and Sanitation is in big debt and has no funds to handle this. In addition to this an unnecessary huge amount of water is being used for agriculture in the region, according to a scientist on water. I also read that from February 1 the use of water is reduced to 50 liters per day.

 

To make a comparing, norwegians use in average 190 liters per day per person. It is crazy.

balje.jpg

Edited by Ingun
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Rosario

You can also use a bowl in the bathroom/kitchen sink to collect the water and reusing it later.

Put a bottle of sand or pebblesin your toilet tank. Wear polyester clothes or those that don't need much water to wash.

I hope this helps! 

 

Here are more tips https://www.watercalculator.org/save-water/

 

image.png

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Evelin

Radical maybe, but instead of a full shower, wash your hair in a (wash)bowl and use the shampoo water to wash the body. Save the shampoo water for washing dishes. (You need to rinse the dishes, obviously, do that in a bowl as well and save the rinsing water for flushing the toilet). Also, wash the dishes that need it in a bowl and use the washing water for flushing the toilet.

 

If you boil vegetables in water, save that water for toilet or dishwashing, etc.

 

Wear wool or wool/silk blend, it won't smell of sweat as much and even if it does after a day, by morning it should be OK to wear again.

 

Water saving shower and faucet heads are very popular in Europe, don't know if they're available there, but they could help.

 

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Ingun

And in the past when there was no habit or possibilities for daily showering, people had water in a washbowl and used a washcloth to wash the skin and the body.

That takes a lot less water than showering.... which can be like 15 liters in a minute, and a water saving shower about 8 liters a minute.

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Maxim [memorial profile]

This is a dear subject to me, resource conservation.  The benefit beyond the obvious is that it can be a way to bring people together in common cause, common bond.

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