As the summer heats up, the last few weeks have given us some indication of the temperatures we can expect. Added to that, is the announcement that the entire country is in the grips of the worst drought in 23 years.
This drought has been made worse by the fact that El Nino has already increased sea temperatures in our part of the world by 2 degrees and that will mean that this year's summer will be the hottest South Africa has ever experienced.
The Implementation of water restrictions comes as no surprise, but it not only affects the man in the street, but also impacts businesses.
The main water service provider in Gauteng, Rand Water has indicated that its supply pipeline servicing all areas is under severe strain due to increased water demand. The implementation of temporary water restrictions would be to the benefit of all in the area and must be adhered to.
Here are the specifics of what is not allowed for the duration of the water restrictions until its lifted. The water Restrictions have been implemented in the City of Tshwane in terms of Clause 19 of the Water Supply Bylaws as published in the Gauteng Provincial Gazette, dated 24 July 2014 notice 468 for reference. Water restrictions prohibit the following :
• Watering/irrigating gardens with sprinkler systems or hosepipes between 06.00 and 18.00
• Washing vehicles with hosepipes; and
• Filling up swimming pools
This means that some changes will need to be implemented by businesses to accommodate these restrictions.
• Resetting the timer on your irrigation systems at the office to activate after 18.00 or before 06.00 in the morning. If watering is done by hand / hosepipe, arrangements should be made to have gardeners come in earlier in the morning to water or stay later in the evening to do the necessary.
• The washing of cars should now be done by means of a bucket.
• Most businesses that have swimming pools will need to ensure that this rule is adhered to.
Businesses can also assist the Local Metro Council by updating their staff on these restrictions and encourage them to adhere to these new regulations whilst in force.
In line with this initiative to assist your employees in restricting excess water usage both at home and in the office - here are some tips that you could share with them to save water and that could easily be implemented where applicable in the office environment as well.
• Turn the tap off between washing your face, brushing your teeth or shaving.
• Taking a five-minute shower a day, instead of a bath. If you prefer to bath, don't fill up the bath tub.
• Use low-flow showerheads, dual-flush toilet mechanisms and water-efficient washing machines.
• Kettles should not be filled to the brim but with just enough water for your needs. This will reduce your electricity bill too.
• Don't over-fill containers like cooking pots, as this may result in using more energy to heat the water.
• Reducing the toilet flush volume alone can save 20% of total water consumption.
• Fix a leaking toilet otherwise it can waste up to 100 000 litres of water in one year.
• Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
• Use "grey water" - used water from baths, washing machines and other safe sources - to flush your toilet.
• Do not over-fill or excessively backwash your swimming pool.
• Use a bucket rather than a hose to wash your car. If you have to use a hose, use a sprayer that can be turned off in-between spraying the car.
For those individuals or businesses that do not comply to these restrictions and are reported to the Metro Police Department - spot fines of R1000-00 can be given to offenders.
Let's all work together and try as far as possible to restrict water usage so that there is enough for us all to use.