South Africa has always been home to an affordable and readily available water supply, but this luxury has meant that we have never felt the need to be sparing and efficient in our usage of water. A little water wisdom and small behaviour changes can have an immensely positive effect on our planet, your safety, and even your pocket.
The cost of water is continually rising, and while we pay more with every passing year, the quality of the water itself, is actually decreasing. Our infrastructure is continuously under pressure, and the failing systems have begun to affect the safety of our water supply. Instead of waiting for the inevitable water-shedding “solution”, why not prepare yourself, by building the household habit of self-sufficiency?
We sat down with James Hilburn of Eco Navitas, South Africa’s leading renewable energy store, to chat about how you can take the first steps in becoming a primarily self-reliant water user.
Hilburn, first and foremost, finds it important to take a serious look at one’s household water consumption, and to work out exactly how and where they can make any changes. He notes that a good balance in behavioural changes within the home, as well as a few smart product purchases, can make for an enormously successful outcome, saving the household a considerable amount of money.
- Behavioural Changes
Small habitual modifications, although seemingly futile, can add up to quite a significant amount of environmental and financial change. These include:
- Having a short shower instead of a bath.
- Washing your car on a lawn that needs watering
- Watering your garden early in the day or after the sun has gone down.
- Adding a few drops of food colouring to your toilet tank between flushes to see if water is leaking into the bowl.
- Monitoring any changes on your water meter, before you leave the house and on your return. (another indicator of leakage)
In fact, a little water wisdom alone, can cut your annual water usage by almost a third. This could be up to 100 000 litres in an average household.
- Product purchases
Over and above water-wise decisions within the household, there is a selection of helpful products available to you.
- Small plumbing changes can make a big difference to your pocket, at a minimal cost. Low-flow shower heads, for instance, can reduce your shower water usage by about 50%, with no behavioural changes at all. Similarly, cold water diverters can store the cold water until your geyser is ready to release hot water to your tap – avoiding that cold run of water that usually goes to waste before a shower.
- Rain water harvesting is a profitable and practical way of collecting and redirecting water that would otherwise be lost. This water can easily be used to water your garden, fill your pool, or with the use of an appropriate UV steriliser and filter, fill up a bottle of water for drinking. The use of a roof catchment, filtration funnel and storage facility alone can save you up to R2 500 a year.
- Grey water harvesting is the collection of gently used water from your home. This water comes from your bathroom sinks, showers, baths and washing machines, and can be redirected within 48 hours (to avoid contamination) towards garden irrigation systems and select plumbing facilities (i.e.: toilet flushing). Grey water is not recommended for drinking purposes even after filtration, but its other uses are remarkably valuable, and can save your household up to 30 000-50 000 litres of water a year.
- Borehole water
Additionally, borehole access can also ease the strain on municipal sources. If tested and safe, this water can be used throughout the home, and for drinking. Most definitely an option worth investigating.
Hilburn concludes that if a house decides to adopt all of these measures, they would be saving up to R6 000 a year, and will only have to depend on municipal supply for 5% – 25% of total consumption. In fact, the percentage of our water that is used for drinking and cooking is, on average, only about 3%. These kinds of changes are not only financially beneficial, but they also ensure security of supply – especially with the threat of shortages and restrictions in the near future.
Eco Navitas offers a wide selection of filtration systems and rain harvesting set-ups. Visit https://www.absa.co.za/offers/personal/eco-navitas/ for more information on how you can use your Absa discount to save your home and your money. You can direct any Eco Navitas product inquiries via phone 0861 511 059, email email@example.com, or by SMSing “Eco cc” and your name to 35644.
Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.