Water is the most essential resource to life on earth. With that in mind, it makes the global water crisis we find ourselves in that much more terrifying. People round the world are finding it difficult to access the amount and quality of water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing, handwashing and agriculture.

Did you know that 1 in 8 people worldwide doesn’t have access to clean drinking water?

South Africa has experienced it’s worst drought in thirty years. Cape Town narrowly avoided Day Zero when the taps were set to run dry, and that’s been a wake-up call to many South Africans to better steward our precious water resources. With South Africa being listed as the 39th driest country in the world, we all need to do our bit. South Africa is not the only country struggling to preserve our precious water resources.

Wasting water is easy, taking clean water for granted is even easier. Fortunately, it’s just as easy to save and conserve water as it is to waste it.

HERE ARE SEVEN WAYS YOU CAN PLAY YOUR PART:
1. CHECK FOR LEAKS!
Check and check again for leaks: Up to 37% of South Africa’s water supply is lost due to leaks. Let your kids help you fix the leaks around the house and explain to them the importance of not letting water go to waste. This will also help them understand how important it is to tell an adult if they hear or see a leak somewhere.

2 .THE BRICK TRICK
Put a brick in the loo cistern: This gives you the same flush pressure but uses substantially less water per flush.

3. IF IT’S YELLOW, LET IT MELLOW.
This might sound strange to you, but do you really need to flush every single time? The toilet is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in the house, best to use it wisely

4. BE SMART AND RE-USE!
Put cooking and washing water to good use: Use the water from your washing machine or from boiling or steaming vegetables and ask the kids to water the  plants. Make sure you choose a biodegradable washing detergent and that you allow cooking water to cool before reusing.

5. THE SHOWER BUCKET
It is much more water-wise to take a quick shower than it is to take a bath. When having your shower, instead of letting the water pour down the drain, stick a bucket under the running water while you wait for it to heat up. Place the bucket by your feet while you shower to catch some extra drops! You can then water your plants or flush your toilet with the excess water. Try to use eco-friendly body washes and shampoos wherever possible.

6. DON’T KEEP IT RUNNING!
Always turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving and washing your hands or face. Water comes out of the average faucet at 3.7 litres per minute.
To let all that water down the drain is such a waste. Turn off the faucet after you wet your brush and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.

7. RE-THINK YOUR GARDEN
Why not rip out your lawn and rather opt for a landscape that incorporates water-wise ground cover, succulents and other plants that thrive in drought
conditions. This could be something fun that the entire family can do together. It can be a great bonding exercise, make for wonderful memories and serve an educational purpose too!
Even if you’re not living in a drought-stricken region, cutting back on water is still important. Not only will it guarantee a lower utility bill, but you will have peace of mind knowing that you are helping to conserve a precious resource.