Water facts

  • Some 1.1 billion people, or 18 % of the word’s population, lack access to safe drinking water, and over 2.4 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.
  • More than 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die each year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation.
  • A report released in early October 2009 by the Water Research Commission of South Africa found that South Africa has 4% less water than 20 years ago.
  • Rand Water is predicting that demand for water in South Africa will outstrip supply by 2025
  • If South Africans continue with their wasteful water practices, there simply will not be enough water to meet the country’s future needs and, we may have to start paying even more for water!
  • South Africans can change the scenario by changing their behaviour towards water usage and becoming water wise and savvy about rainwater harvesting.


Water tips


  • Checking for leaks in taps and pipes is an easy way to reduce water wastage.
  • Remember, one leaking tap can waste more than 2 000 liters a month.
  • Prevent taps from leaking by turning taps off lightly and replace washers as soon as they begin to leak.


  • Office water use can account for 10% of the water consumption of a major city.
  • A moderate sized building of 10 000m2 typically consumes over 20 000 litres per day or more than 7 million litres per year – enough to supply 40 average homes.
  • Audits of office buildings conducted internationally indicate that over 95% of water use in office buildings is accounted for by leakage 26% (taps, urinals, cisterns, piping, valves, pumps); amenities 37% (toilets, kitchenettes, showers) and cooling systems 31%.


  • Installing one of the latest 3 star/AAA rating showerheads can give you a great shower and save you around 10 L of water a minute. They also save you energy costs, as you’ll use less hot water.
  • To rinse your razor, run a little water into a plugged sink. Rinsing your razor under a running tap wastes lots of water.
  • There’s no need to leave the tap running while you brush your teeth. Simply wet your toothbrush before you begin and use a glass of water to rinse your mouth.
  • Installing water-efficient taps or tap aerators is a great, inexpensive way to cut your water usage without you even noticing.
  • Put the plug in the sink when washing your hands instead of holding them under running water.


  • Thaw frozen foods before you need them or use the microwave instead of placing them under running water.
  • Automatic dishwashers can use up to 40 L of water per load. By using a dishwasher with at least a 3 star/AAA rating, you can get this figure down to 18 L per load and still get the kind of sparkling clean dishes you’re used to.
  • Checking for leaks in taps, pipes and dishwasher hoses is an easy way to reduce water wastage.
  • The most water-efficient methods for cooking vegetables are microwaving, steaming or using a pressure cooker. You can also cut down on water loss by using tight lids on pots and simmering instead of boiling rapidly.
  • Wait until you have a full load in your dishwasher before using it. This saves water and energy, and reduces the amount of detergent entering the sewerage system.
  • Keep a container of water in the fridge so that you won’t need to run the water down the sink until it’s cool enough to drink.
  • Washing fruit and vegetables in a half-filled sink instead of under running water is a great way to cut back on water wastage.
  • Rinsing your dishes in a plugged sink rather than under a running tap saves water and is just as easy and effective.
  • Use a sink strainer.
  • Try to use phosphate-free, eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products. There’s a great range to choose from these days and they’re much better for our environment.


  • Be water wise by watering only in the early morning or late afternoon – NOT during the heat of the day
  • Mulch your plantings. A 5-10 cm layer of organic mulch like shredded leaves, bark or compost slows evaporation by shading the soil, slows water runoff, keeps down weeds (thus lessening competition from them for water), enriches the soil and improves plant health.
  • Reduce the size of your water-guzzling lawn and when you do mow, raise the cutting height. Lawn irrigation accounts for about 30% of water consumption; the average lawn uses about 50 000 L of water during summer.
  • Electric or fuel powered leaf blowers work more efficiently than hosing down paths and driveways.
  • Pool covers reduce the amount of water you need to keep your pool full and running efficiently.
  • Install a JoJo rainwater harvesting tank


  • Start recycling paper, plastic and metal in the classroom and motivate the entire school to participate
  • Choose reusable packaging and a reusable BPA-free water bottle, rather than throwaway plastic bottles to reduce waste creation at lunch time.
  • Plant an indigenous tree outside the classroom for nature at your doorstep and a much cooler classroom
  • Plants are nature’s air filters and in the classroom they absorb computer radiation and airborne pollutants and provide oxygen and cooler air. Research indicates that indoor plants significantly reduce fatigue and incidences of cold-related ailments like sore throats and coughs.
  • Create a school veggie garden – a fun and educational way to learn about the pleasures of growing and eating fresh, local, organic food.
  • Get rid of disposable pens and pencils and opt for refillable pens made from recycled plastic or biodegradable plastic and select pencils made from sustainably harvested wood.
  • When printing, make sure it is double sided, and use the ‘less ink’ options for all but the most important printing.
  • Use the energy saving settings on your computer.
  • Check for leaks in taps and report to the school management. It’s an easy way to reduce water wastage. One leaking tap can waste more than 2 000 L a month.
  • Put plastic bottles filled with pebbles or sand in the toilet tanks to reduce flushing water.
  • Install a JoJo rainwater-harvesting tank



The ABC of water conservation



Audits of office buildings conducted internationally indicate that over 25% of water use in office buildings is accounted for by leakage: taps, urinals, cisterns, piping, valves, pumps



Become conscious of the amount of water you use every day



Change your water wasteful habits; be a water steward



Install a water-saving drip irrigation system to provide a slow, steady and direct supply of water to plants, trees and shrubs



Economise on bathroom water consumption: use a timer for a planet-friendly 5-minute shower



Flow regulators reduce amount of water used when the tap is running



60% of household water re-usable as grey water – perfect to water gardens, wash cars and driveways and flush toilets



Harvesting rain, your FREE source of water is a brilliant idea



It is irresponsible and wasteful to use expensive drinking water to flush toilets and water lawns



JoJo Tanks. The Future of water. Get a rainwater-harvesting tank today



Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste instead of using a garbage disposal



Look for leaks; they’re easy to detect and easy to fix



Replace expensive municipal water with FREE from the sky rainwater to water the garden and do all the household cleaning



Never water the garden during the heat of the day



Organic mulch like shredded leaves, or bark or compost slows evaporation by shading the soil, slows water runoff, keeps down weeds (thus lessening competition from them for water), enriches the soil and improves plant health



Pool covers reduce the amount of water you need to keep your pool full and running efficiently



Quit wasting water to clean the driveway; use a rake or a broom



Reduce the size of your water-guzzling lawn. Lawn irrigation accounts for about 30% of household water consumption



Storage of rainwater in a JoJo tank provides an excellent back-up source of water for emergencies



Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth



Use a bucket or basin to catch cold water for pot plants while waiting for the water to run hot



Verify that your house is free of hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read precisely the same then there is a leak



Choose water-saving dishwashers and washing machines



Xeriscaping is the way landscapers should go



Yes we can each make a difference



Zero-tolerance for water wasters; let’s commit to be water wise

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