How to prepare for Water shortages


How to prepare for Water shortages


We all take the supply of water as a right. This is not so! Water and the supply thereof should be treated as a privilege. Something we earn not just accept as a given.


For too long we have just accepted that when we open our taps water will be there, free and clean. With “climate change” areas that once had a plentiful supply of water have  now moved towards being  in a drought situation (for example, Cape Town, South Africa, Singapore, Republic of Singapore) and, therefore, we need to change their ways.


Waste water needs to be collected and stored for alternate use (i.e. bath/shower water needs to be re used for flushing toilets).


Also, these countries need to implement systems to encourage water retention and saving by means of subsidising water storage tanks and also to penalise excess water users. This can be implemented via a mechanism of a sliding scale (exponential) water metering system.


For the homeowner, simple methods of storing water are;

  1. Using a plastic basins or bucket in the shower to store / recover waste water.
  2. Use this waste water to flush toilets.
  3. Feeding “grey” water from your shower or bath to the garden by attaching a hose pipe to outlet pipes and running this into your garden.
  4. Using large storage containers attached to your roof gutter system during the rainy season to store water for later use.
  5. Optimising the use of washing machines and dishwashers (fill your dishwasher and / or washing machine to the maximum) to prevent excess water usage.
  6. Using bottled water (although this has a big impact on plastic waste) for use in the home. Check the manufacturers specifications to ascertain how long bottles are useable for .


Even with the above steps, storing water id fine, but how do you get warm/hot water when all you’ve done is store the waste water in large containers.


Now, here are a few tricks you can use;

  1. Take a few one and five litre water containers and spray the outside with black paint (preferably a high heat resistant paint as the containers can get to 70 degrees plus).
  2. Fill these containers with excess / spare water.
  3. Place these containers in the sun in the early morning.
  4. In the early evening you will have a few (dependent on container size used) litres of warm to hot water that you can use to bathe the children or wash the dishes.


There are so many things you can do to mitigate water usage and wastage.  As mentioned above, your attention to water waste is paramount and a small step in your minor contribution to global warming. It’s like anything; if you measure it you can manage it. Take regular readings of your water meter to ensure you are in control of your water usage and look and think about methods to reduce t=your usage and global footprint



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