Water Savvy in the Bathroom

There has recently been a lot of hype in the media around the  “100 days of water left in Cape Town” shock generated in early January. And why shouldn’t there be?

We are still busy climbing out of a drought in the Western Cape so water resources have been tight. The province received little rainfall during winter last year due to the El Nino, which meant that many of the dams entered spring at half capacity according to News24. Cape Town launched into November with Level 3 restrictions and since then the tension around water has just kept rising.

With over 4500 fires raging through the Western Cape from November to mid-January the question on everyone’s minds is “What about the water?”

Although there is much that can be done on a governmental level to manage water resources, the people on the ground can also take responsibility for this precious resource.

Cut down time on your shower

The first thing you can do is to shower rather than to bath. We all know what a long day at work feels like – all you want to do is come home, relax in the bath with a glass of wine. But is that soak really worth it?

To fill in an average bath uses approximately 160 litres of water. It would be more water savvy to opt for a shower. But it also depends on the length of the shower.

The average shower uses 15 litres per minute, Free Water.

… which means that after 10 minutes you have used enough water to fill a cosy bath.

The trick is to take shorter showers. A four minute shower is the recommended length to save water. The City of Cape Town also recommends that you fit your shower with a fancy ‘low-flow’ showerhead to save even more water.

Woman Lying in a Bathtub Holding a Mug
We all know what it feels like to come home and want to relax, but opt for a quick shower instead. Credit: PCD Homes.

Turn off your tap

Another way to curb water waste is to turn off the shower when shaving. A woman will spend up to 72 days of her life shaving her legs. That’s 103, 680 minutes. Remember ladies, the average flow rate of water per minute is 15 litres .

All that equals up to 1 555 200 litres in a lifetime used on shaving only your legs! This is enough to fill half an olympic size swimming pool, which is 50m x 25m x 2m. Yikes!

Turn off the tao when shaving your legs! Credit: Ronti Baras.

Many people in Africa get only 20 litres of water to use per day to consume, cook, and shower with. And we are using that much water just to shave our legs.

Remember, only 51% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has access to safe water. Let’s save where we can so there is enough for everyone.

These are some of the interesting water saving tips that have come up:



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