Take charge of your bills

Most water users unknowingly contribute to their own high water bills. It is very important for water users to practice water efficiency whenever they use water, be it in the home or in the field. Water efficiency helps users to keep their bills in check at the same assisting ZINWA in ensuring that the available water can be spread among more users for sustainability and equity. The water conservation tips can result in significant reduction in the amount of water one uses in the home or in the field. They can also lead to a great reduction in the monthly bill.

In the home

  • Avoid leaving the tap running while doing laundry. Make sure that the level of water in the washer is proportionate to the amount of clothes that need to be washed.
  • Fill the sink with water rather than continually running the tap when washing dishes by hand. Where a double basin sink is available, it is encouraged to fill one basin with soapy water for washing while the other basin will be filled with rinsing water.
  • Water can also be significantly saved by using a glass/cup of water when one is brushing their teeth rather than keeping the tap running.
  • Do not use your toilet as an ashtray and wastebasket. Avoid flushing a cigarette butt, facial tissue or some other small bits of trash. There are many other means of disposing them that do not involve water.
  • Check your toilet for leaks and make sure that water stops flowing from the bowl immediately after flushing.
  • Don’t use the horse pipe for such minor work as car washing. Clean the car using soapy water from a bucket. A horse pipe can only be used for rinsing. It also saves water to use a broom, and not a horse pipe, to clean drive ways and pavements.
  • Avoid running the shower throughout the bathing period. Most people waste a lot of water during bathing because they turn on the shower as soon as they step into the bathroom and leave it running throughout the bathing period. It is advisable to turn off the shower while soaping up and then turn it on when rinsing.
  • In most circumstances, it takes some time before hot water start coming out of the shower even after the geyser has been turned on. More often, nobody takes care of the cold water that comes out first. Needless to say however, that water can easily be collected and used for other purposes.
  • For those who own swimming pools, it is advisable to put a cover above the pool to reduce water loss through evaporation.
  • When emptying swimming pools, the water can be used for other purposes such as watering the lawn, flowers or cleaning cars

In the field

  • In cases where irrigation water is delivered to the field through a canal, farmers should ensure that their canals are lined so as to reduce seepage and evaporation.
  • Irrigating farmers should embrace water efficient irrigation methods such as drip irrigation. This type of irrigation ensures that water is applied only where the plant is thus significantly reducing wastage of water.
  • Conservation tillage coupled with proper field levelling reduces run off and help improve the soil’s ability to hold moisture. It also reduces evaporation meaning the amount of water required over a particular period of time is significantly reduced.
  • Those who have big gardens can save a lot of water by putting a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Besides discouraging weed growth, mulch will slow the evaporation process thus decreasing the amount of water that will be needed to keep the plants alive and well.
  • Avoid watering the gutter. It is advisable to position your sprinklers properly so that water lands on the lawn and not on paved areas.
  • Water or irrigate during the early or late hours of the day. Early watering/irrigating substantially reduces loss of water through evaporation.
  • Knowing crop water requirements during their different stages of growth can also help save water
  • The irrigation system should also be checked of any leaks so that all water abstracted reaches the field. Leaks should be fixed within the shortest possible time

Note: In addition to these water conservation strategies, water users should learn to take their own meter readings. Taking one’s own meter reading helps in detecting unusually high water use even before the bill is presented.