Can you take a two minute shower? South Africa’s top music artists recorded two-minute versions of some of their most popular songs to help Capetown resident’s stick to recommended two-minute shower. Check out the music and the website to see how well you can soap and sing at the same time.
Thanks to extreme conservation efforts, a dose of heavy rains, and continued adherence to water restrictions, Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019.
Day Zero loomed ominously over Cape Town, South Africa, when all water taps to the would be shut off for 3.74 million residents due to three years of drought, population expansion, and insufficient planning.
Residents still limit themselves to 50 litres (13 gallons) of water each day, complete entire showers in 60 seconds, flush their toilets only once a day, and minimize dish washing and laundry all on reduced water pressure. In the process, Cape Town has become an international role model for urban water conservation.
Don’t overwater your lawn and remember a hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.
Water lawns early in the morning – the lower temperature and wind speed are reduce evaporation.
Position sprinklers to water the lawn and shrubs … not the paved areas.
Raise the mower to at least three inches. Taller grass encourages deeper rooting and shades the roots to retain soil moisture.
Avoid overfertilizing. Fertilizers increase the need for water and mowing.
Sweep, not wash, clippings back to the lawn from the driveway or sidewalk. Washing the driveway can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
Consider these tips from conserveh20.org as you prep the sprinkler system for the season for effective and efficient watering.
1. Look for signs of leakage, especially damage to sprinkler heads or piping which could have occurred over the winter. Repair and replace as needed.
2. Look for accurate spray patterns. Adjust your sprinkler heads so they water your landscape and not sidewalks or pavement. Also make sure their spray isn’t blocked by plants or other materials.
3. Clean clogged nozzles and sprinkler heads.
4. Install a rain sensor. Rain sensors are designed to shut off sprinkler systems when rainfall reaches a preset amount, usually 1/4 inch. Once the moisture level subsides, the sensor re-enables the sprinkler system, resuming the previous watering schedule. Rain sensors should be mounted in an unobstructed area exposed to open sky – minimizing the potential for fallen leaves or other debris from blocking the sensor.
Recent research suggests rain harvesting may have provided the 800 Roman soliders manning Hadrian’s Fort with 10 liters (2.62 gallons) of drinking water per per capita per day during their deployment.
Evidence at Hadrian’s Fort, a strategic Roman outpost along Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, indicates building rooftops were constructed to capture rainfall. The runoff collected in stone-lined tanks, two to six tanks per key building, capable of holding 2 cubic meters (about 528 gallons) of water each.
It’s an amazing feat of foresight, considering Hadrian’s Fort has no internal springs or wells, access to springs or waterways in the region, and an aqueduct supply would have been extremely impractical.
Photo by David Ross
Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rigg
Twice Brewed, Northumberland, England
Stormwater is not treated before it flows into the North Platte River, so contaminants that enter the storm sewer system can also contaminate the river.
According to regulation, anything other than rain or snowmelt in the storm sewer is an illicit discharge. However, clean water discharges to the gutter – like pumped groundwater, air conditioning condensation, or irrigation water/lawn watering – are typically excused.
If you see or find evidence of substances other than rain or snowmelt in the gutter or near a storm drain please call the stormwater department 630-8011. If the spill is over 25 gallons or you know the substance is hazardous, please call 911.
Capetown’s crisis is in the spotlight now, but other metropolitan areas could soon follow:
1. Catch the hair! Cover drains with screens or filters to prevent hair from flowing into the drain while cleaning or bathing.
2. Dispose of fats and oils properly. Bag fats and oils and throw them in the trash instead of allowing them to run down the drains.
3. Avoid planting trees close to your main line or sewer line. Tree roots seek and penetrate drain pipes for water.
4. Flush drains with vinegar and baking soda to help clear grease and dissolve organic material. Sprinkle baking soda into the pipes followed by vinegar. Let the mixture sit for several hours then flush with hot water.