New Year 2016/2017: Best wishes to you and yours. Peace and prosperity to all on our planet. Some info on our water situation:

Our dams stood at 49.7% as at 19 December 2016. We use on average 1.6% per week of the dam capacity even with the current level 3 restrictions, therefore our dams should be at about 48.3% as at 26 December. No actual readings have been published yet. If this rate of depletion continues for another 15 weeks i.e. till mid-April, the dams will drop by 24%. This will leave the dams at 24%; roughly the level at which some dams can no longer be economically pumped. If the rains are delayed the situation becomes progressively more serious.

The City of Cape Town has targeted water usage of 800 million litres per day; we are using around 860 million litres a day, sometimes as high as 900 million. This usage will ensure that water runs out sooner than predicted. Making electricity is easy and cheap compared to brack or salt water desalination.

The expected La Nina condition in the Pacific should bring higher than average rainfall in winter but, this is not guaranteed. The Cape Town area will need at least 2 years of above average rainfall to recover previous dam levels. It is our belief that the local councils will not reduce water charges by much when the rains come, if at all.

No matter how much money you may have in the bank if there is no water you can't buy it. Please be aware that selling or buying borehole water is illegal; council will fine both parties heavily and may even disconnect your water altogether.

Please keep saving.

October 22 2016 - The Water shortage crisis: the water storage and supply situation has reached a crisis point. Dam levels in the Cape Town supply system sit at 61.7% and have hovered around this level for the last 2 months or so. We should get some rainy days this year but, it is unlikely that these will affect dam levels much.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee has approved a recommendation of Level 3 water restrictions from 1 November 2016, with corresponding tariff increases to follow from 1 December 2016; a year late in our opinion. A copy of these charges is attached to this post. 26 October 2016 is when approval is expected. Key enhanced restrictions on Level 3 for residential users are as follows:

1. Watering/irrigation (with drinking water from municipal supply) of gardens, lawns, flower beds and other plants, vegetable gardens, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only if using a bucket or watering container. No use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems is allowed. This excludes borehole and well point water sources – although in time this could change.

2. Cars and boats may only be washed with water from buckets.

3. Manual topping up of swimming pools is allowed only if pools are fitted with a pool cover. No automatic top-up systems are allowed.

4. No portable play pools are permitted to be used.

If you used 55kl a month last summer your total cost would have been around R 1 480 vs R 3 450 for this summer. If you used 25kl a month last summer your total cost would have been around R 470 vs R 960 for this summer. Clearly the incentive is to save and keep your usage as low as possible.

We will look at the following areas in depth in future posts: irrigation systems, lawns, gardens, taps, showers, baths, plugs, pipe insulation, dishwashers – hand & machine, washing clothes, shaving, toilets, pools, rain water harvesting, gutter diversions, grey water, boreholes/well-points and other tips.

The best and quickest way to save water is to ensure that your existing system has no leaks; aside from the obvious checking of taps, machine and hose connections we should regularly check the whole system. To do this: turn off all taps, turn the stop cock at the meter off; take a meter reading – make sure that you accurately record the smaller dials – take a picture with your camera phone, turn the stop cock back on and then wait for 30 minutes or so making sure that you don’t use any water. Repeat the procedure and then compare the readings. If there is a difference you have a leak/s; either fix it yourself or call a plumber.

Various measures that the council may have to take could lead to intermittent water clarity issues or changes in water taste. Abnormally hot and windy conditions during summer may promote algae growth in the dams which could also give rise to an earthy taste and smell to the water. Activated carbon is utilised at the water treatment plants to remove most of the taste and smell. All water supplied will remain safe to drink.

Council will also be lowering distribution system pressures where possible to reduce leakage from municipal and private water systems. This will mean that water may flow more slowly from taps and fittings.

We will examine some water saving tips and techniques over the next few weeks; however you can in the meantime check our fb page “Green Star Technologies” for various water saving tips.

If you found this post interesting please share. If you have more or better tips please share with us. For more tips on water and energy saving please check our Facebook page “Green Star Technologies”. Should you be interested in any of these technologies please contact us on .

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