While there is no denying that Cape Town could be the world’s first big city to have its taps run dry, there is much that can and is being done to avoid this. Thanks to the joint efforts of residents, businesses and visitors, water usage has dropped significantly. As a result, Day Zero, the day on which taps are expected to run dry, has been pushed out numerous times and according to the experts, with continued effort, can be avoided altogether.
Choose accommodation wisely
A ‘dirty’ weekend in Cape Town means different things to different establishments. Before booking, find out what contingency plans the establishment has in place and familiarise yourself with them so that you know what to expect.
Embrace the power shower
Shower for 90 seconds making sure you turn off the tap while shampooing and conditioning. Treat yourself to a shampoo and blow dry at your hotel salon and bring along a waterless, spray on shampoo for in between days. The use of baths is discouraged.
To swim or not to swim
Before diving in to the pool make enquiries about its water source. While some hotel swimming pools have been converted to ocean water others make use of borehole water, which ultimately is still a drain on the city’s water supply. Why not skip the pool altogether and head to one of Cape Town’s beaches or tidal pools? Soak up the sun, lounge under an umbrella on a deckchair and enjoy a dip in the ocean. Natural salt water is also good for the skin.
Is the tap turned off tightly?
Every drop counts so be sure to switch off taps wherever you go and make sure the little ones do to. Keep them switched off while brushing teeth and shaving. Switch to hand sanitiser, which has anti-bacterial properties for waterless handwashing.
Turning water to wine
We certainly do not expect people to skip drinking water altogether. On the contrary, we encourage it as it is good for your health and in hot weather particularly, important for hydration. However, it would be a shame to come to the Cape and not sample our wines. You would be forgiven and congratulated even for drinking less water and more wine – responsibly of course.
Nobody likes an unflushed toilet. However, the saying, “when its yellow let it mellow” applies. If you are concerned about odours, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda into the loo or a drop of bleach to neutralise them. For anything other than urine, please flush.
GOLD Restaurant’s waterwise initiatives
Our waterwise initiatives include the installation of waterless urinals in our male toilets and we have reduced the flow on all of our flushing units. We have also installed aerators on our taps to reduce water flow. While we provide soap, we encourage our diners to use the waterless sanitiser alternatives provided.
Green Planet Laundry who has their own borehole water washes our linens and we recycle our non-potable and ice bucket water and use it for general cleaning purposes. Where possible we also reuse our kitchen grey water.
Having consulted with water saving technology experts we will soon be implementing a Grey Water treatment system to filter and clean our kitchen’s grey water. In addition, our current water tanks will be reengineered to hold 25 000 litres of potable water.
A little extra preparation in your holiday planning by supporting establishments and businesses who actively implement water-saving measures will go a long way to helping us to push back Day Zero. Water availability is in large part dependent on water usage and there are plenty of ways in which you can help us to use less water with little inconvenience to yourself and your family – while still having a dream holiday experience.