WATER – Every drop counts

As the strongest El Niño weather pattern in 20 years continues, it is no surprises that South Africa is now facing a water crisis. The once frequent spring rains are now a distant memory and the reality is this: we are facing a water CRISIS and the time to act is NOW!

What is El Niño?
El Niño, Spanish for Christ Child, named as such for its occurrence near Christmas. El Niño is defined by prolonged warming in the Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures when compared with the average value. Although the southern part of Africa generally receives below-normal rainfall during El Nino years and La Nina usually brings normal or above-normal rainfall, it cannot be accepted as a rule. Southern Africa can be divided into numerous rainfall regions, each region having a different correlation with ENSO. Also, ENSO explains only approximately 30% of the rainfall variability, which means that other factors should also be taken into account when predicting seasonal rainfall. For example: The 1997-98 El Nino was the strongest on record, but not all of South Africa received below-normal rainfall. Some regions had an abundance of rain because of moist air that was imported from the Indian Ocean. One should be careful not to make a general rule for rainfall and temperature changes in ENSO years over southern Africa.

– Excerpt from Weather SA

So what does that mean for us?
We must act now to save water to combat this very serious issue. The projection put forth is that by 2030 we will encounter a deficit of 17%, that being our water need will outweigh our water supply by 17% in 15 years, as stated by Alex McNamara, Head of Water & Climate Change Adaptation at the National Business Initiative. Now that is scary. ON TAP has put together numerous ways in which you and your family can act now, to save water. This is part one in a three part series about conserving water!

Kitchens (Main)In the Kitchen
– Post reminders over sinks and taps, to conserve water. It is easy to forget we are in a drought.
– Do not rinse scraps of food down the sink, rather scrape it directly into your trash. It is better for your pipes too!! Or turn it into compost!
– Consider heating a kettle instead of running the hot water for washing dishes or washing hands
– If you run your hot water, use the cold stream to fill bottles, pet water bowls, ice cube trays etc.
– Toss left over ice cubes from your drinks into your garden or pot plants
– FIX your leaks. Leaky pipes and dripping taps could waste hundreds of litres a year!
– Only do a full load of dishes in your dishwasher
– No dish washer? Consider paper plates or paper cups for events and big bashes.
– Washing by hand? Don’t let the water run, if you have twin sinks fill one with wash water and one with rinse water. If not use a large bowl for rinse water.
– Defrost food in the fridge rather than in running water
– Wash Fruit & Veg in a bowl rather than under running water.
– Keep water in jugs or bottles instead of running taps

In the Laundry Room
– Wait until you have a full load of clothes to wash
– Adjust the cycle for smaller loads

Pssssst… If you’re looking for the mystery prize – it’s perfect for the holidays!! Planning to jet off, we’ve got exactly what you need – a snazzy suitcase filled to the brim with ON TAP goodies! Good luck!!

Green-living