Waterwise Wednesday: Shower Challenge

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.

2MINUTESHOWERSONGS.CO.ZA
TAKE A LISTEN: SA’s biggest artists have cut down their top tracks so you can save water and stick to the recommended shower time of 2 minutes or less during the Cape’s water crisis.

Waterwise Wednesday: Enjoying the Fruits of the Harvest

Its harvest time for all those rain-barrel-watered garden veggies.

Save water during cooking by rinsing the produce in a large bowl of water and gently scrubbing with a veggie brush. Steam the veggies instead of boiling – it preserves nutrients in addition to water. If you choose to boil, use the minimum amount of water and save it to water plants later.

And to preserve fruits and veggies, eat them in order, starting with the things that will go bad the soonest:

First: bananas, berries, cherries, kiwis, avocado, spinach, lettuce, and grapes

Second: tomatoes, mango, peaches, pears, melon, apricots, and zucchini

Third: cucumbers, pineapple, and pomegranates

Last: carrots, potatoes, celery, apples, grapefruit, and oranges

Photo © Liz Van Steenburgh

 

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Waterwise Wednesday: The Dirty on Clean Laundry

The average US family of four generates 300 loads of laundry a year and uses 6,000-12,000 gallons of water to get them clean. Depending on the efficiency of the washer, each load uses 15 gallons (high-efficiency front load) to 40 gallons (traditional top load with vertical agitator) of water.

Save water by washing only full loads and save energy by using cold water and hanging your clothes out to dry instead of running them through the dryer.

Photo © Faidoi

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Waterwise Wednesday: Some Good News

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.

Waterwise Wednesday: Garden Hose Tips

Use an adjustable shut-off nozzle which can be down to fine spray so that water flows only as needed. Turn it of at the faucet instead of the nozzle when finished to avoid leaks.

Use hose washers between spigots and water hoses to eliminate leaks.

Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. 600 gallons or more can flow in only a few hours. Set a shut-off reminder to turn it off.

 

Check all hoses, connectors and spigots regularly.

Install ornamental water features, like fountains, only if the water is recycled. 

 

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Photo: © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

Waterwise Wedneday: Lawn Watering Tips

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.   Image may contain: grass, shoes, outdoor and natureTaller 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.

Waterwise Wednesday: Landscape Tips

1.  Mulch to retain soil moisture and control weeds.

2. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently and they usually will survive a dry period without any watering.

3. Group plans together based on similar water needs.

4. Choose the right water system for the job. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses work well in plant beds, while sprinklers work better on the lawn.

Photo © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

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Waterwise Wednesday: Spring Sprinkler Tips

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.

Waterwise Wednesday: Rain Harvesting Romans

Image may contain: sky, grass, plant, cloud, mountain, outdoor and natureRecent 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