The 22nd of March is World Water Day. How far does your 60 litres of water go? Let't try and save water where we can. 

The drought crisis…save water now  

The Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape have been declared proviniclal disaster areas, while the government gazette has stated that Disaster Head, Dr. Mmaphaka Tau Tau, has reclassified the drought as a National Disaster.  It is time to take saving water seriously.

In the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro harsher water restrictions and punitve measures have been introduced. Currently the NMBM has requested that each person use only 60 litres of water a day.

WATCH: Dam Level Crisis in the Bay

Click on the link below for a comprehensive list of the latest tariff increases and restrictions imposed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.


For water related issues and restrictions in Buffalo City please click the link below :


For information on the current water restrictions in Knysna please click on the link below :


For an update on the current water restrictions in George please follow the link below:


To find out more about water restrictions specific to your area, go to your municipal website or call your local municipality.

How can we be water smart and play our part? 

We live in a water scare country, which means that it is vital we inculcate water saving habits into our daily lives. Make sure you play your part by incorporating the following tips in your home and businesses:

Saving water in the Bathroom

If you want to be water-wise, always choose a shower over a bath.The recommended current time for a shower is 2 minutes. Use a bucket in the shower to capture water and then re-use that water in your garden, to flush your toilet, or to wash your floors etc.

You can fit your shower with a new, high-tech low-flow showerhead. These showerheads reduce your water consumption by up to 75%.

Have what is called a ‘military shower’. Run the shower water to get wet, turn off the water while you soap yourself up and then only turn the water back on again to rinse off.

If you do not have a shower then be mindful of the fact that the average bath holds 150-20 litres of water when filled to the overflow level. Try and mark a 100 mm depth level on your bath to help you and your family use less water.

Do not use running water while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. If you need the water to heat up before washing your face, capture that water in a jug or pot for reuse somehwere else in the house. For example to flush the toilet or water the garden etc. Use a glass of water to rinse your teeth

Saving water in the kitchen

There are a myriad of ways to save water in and around the kitchen and laundry-room.

Catch the “warm-up” water when you wash dishes or do any of your hand washing in the laundry. This can be easily achieved by placing a bowl or bucket under the tap while you let the water run to warm up. You can then use this water to rinse the dishes, or water a plant, flush a toilet, or even put it in the fridge as drinkwater.

Wash fruit and vegetables using a bowl instead of under the tap

Rinse dishes in the sink or a bowl,not under running water

Fill your washing machine each time you use it

You can use your greywater for recycling, this means working out a means of capturing the runoff from your dishwasher or washing machine in a reservoir or large plastic bins. You can use this water once again to  flush toilets or water the garden. Just make sure that it does not contain too many harsh chemicals. It might be worth changing to biodegradable products if you are capturing your grey water.

Fixing Unnecessary Leaks Around The House

The best way to test for leaks in your home is to turn off the water metre and then check thtat the metre shows no cunsumption. Remember that if the leak is on your property it is your responosiblity to fix it. If it is on municipal property, for example outside on your verge, then the municipality will be liable for the bill.

Report Water leaks in NMBM by calling 0800 20 5050

Report leaks in Buffalo City by calling 086 111 3017

Watering the garden:

Under the current drought restrictions the various municipalities will have imposed restrictions on the most efficient and water wise way to water your garden. Given the current drought, watering with a hosepipe is not allowed. Check with your local municipality to make sure that you know what restrictions are in place in your area.

It is worth noting that watering your garden before midday allows water enough time to reach your plants’ root systems before the midday sun starts to accelerate the evaporation processes.

It is important, as we live in a water scare country, that we plant water-wise plants. Water-wise plants are hardy plants that thrive in dry climates or can thrive being watered with greywater as opposed to potable water.

Harvesting Rainwater:

  • Harvest Rainwater by connecting flexible pipes to your gutters to direct rainwater to your pool, into large buckets or water storage tanks.
  • Filling your pool with municipal water is not permitted under the current drought restrictions. There are certain entities that are selling water but you must ensure that their source is a legal one and that they are in possession of a permit from the municipality. 

Saving Water In The Office Environment

Make Sure You Educate & Train Your Employees

Many of the water saving tips we use in the home can be applied in the work-space or office environment as well.

If you are an employer make sure that you encourage your employees to use water saving tips in the bathrooms and the office kitchen.

You can even put up posters around the office to remind employees to be water-wise and conscious of their water consumption while at work. Or you can send around an e-mail reminding employees about the water restrictions currently in place.

  • Check for leaks just as you would at home. A leaking toilet, for example, can waste thousands of litres per day!


  • When buying appliances, choose those that conserve water and electricity. They can save you a considerable amount of money in the long-term. This applies to washing machines and dish-washers, in particular.
  • It also makes a lot of sense to look at hot-water cylinders that can work with solar panels. (Saving energy saves water - and vice versa.)
  • Tap aerators can be screwed on to the end of your taps. You use far less water, but the aerated flow gives the sense of using just as much water as when using more wasteful fittings.
  • Replace broekn or old washers that cause leaks
  • Wash your car on the grass using a bucket
  • Wash pets outside in an area needing water
  • Do not use a hsoepipe to clean yourdriveway or paved areas – use a broom
  • Don’t pour water down the drain,find anotehr use for it
  • Get a pool cover to halt evaporation
  • Avoid purchasing recreational toys that use water

It is worth noting that selling of municipal water without permission is illegal and OWN WATER signage must be displayed where applicable and must be proven on request by municipal officials