Let us practice water conservation in our homes

So many times in the past, it was forecasted that water would become increasingly scarce as a direct effect of climate change.
The rising prevalence and severity of dangerous weather events such as droughts, floods and heat waves which we have witnessed in Zimbabwe in the past few seasons is therefore hardly surprising as it goes to confirm that indeed the effects of climate change are truly upon us.
It is a phenomenon that has evolved over the years and has now become a global problem.
Already, there are clear indications that the water situation in Zimbabwe is bad and the likelihood of serious water shortages in some areas is high.
While the responsibility to come up with cost effective and quickly implementable water conservation measures lie with Government, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and other relevant stakeholders in the water sector, the success of such measures is dependent on the commitment of all water users to practice water conservation.
As the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Honourable Oppah Muchinguri said this week, there is need to adopt measures that will ensure that we go through the drought period together.
To that effect, ZINWA has, for the past few weeks, been highlighting the importance of water conservation in farming and in business and it is only natural that this week, we focus on the need to practice water conservation in the home.
Avoid leaving the tap running while doing laundry
Make sure that the water in the washer/sink is proportionate to the amount of clothes that need to be washed. Many people have the tendency of leaving the tap running while doing laundry. In order to save water, consumers are required to 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.
Don’t use the hose pipe for cleaning and car washing
Many studies have shown that using a hose pipe, especially for minor chores such as sweeping and car washing, which can alternatively be done using brooms and mops, is one of the most extravagant ways of using water. ZINWA encourages domestic consumers to clean the car using soapy water from a bucket. If at all a horse pipe has to be used then it has to be used only for rinsing.
Hosepipes should not be used for watering the garden
Hosepipes waste a lot of water and should not be used when watering the garden. Buckets should be used instead. The gardens should also be mulched to help reduce evaporation and helping the garden retain moisture for long.
Water lawns and other plants only when necessary
There is a tendency among people to water lawns and other plants such as flowers more often than necessary. Lawns should be watered only when necessary. A simple test to see if the lawn needs water is to step on it. If it springs up after you remove your feet, then there is no need for watering. It is also advisable that drought resistant lawns be planted around the house as these require less water.
Avoid running the shower throughout the bathing period
Most people have the tendency to turn the shower on as soon as they step into the bathroom and leave it running throughout the bathing period, a practice that has led to considerable loss of water. As a measure to conserve the precious liquid, consumers are encouraged to adopt a culture of turning off the shower while soaping up and then turn it on when rinsing. In fact, the use of buckets for bathing is highly recommended.
Avoid using the toilet as an ashtray or 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.
In some homes, a substantial amount of water is lost because of negligent behaviour in the toilet where water is often left flowing from the bowl hours after flushing. Consumers are urged to consistently check pipes and other fittings in the toilet and bathroom to ensure that all leaks are identified and attended to within the shortest possible time.
Cover swimming pools to reduce evaporation
For those who own swimming pools, the Authority advises that a cover should be put above the pool to reduce unnecessary water loss through evaporation. In addition, when emptying swimming pools; consumers are encouraged to put old water to use rather than throwing it away like what most people do. The water can be used for other purposes such as watering the lawn, flowers, flushing the toilets or cleaning cars etc.
For more information you can contact the ZINWA Corporate Communications and Marketing Department on pr@zinwa.co.zw or visit www.zinwa.co.zw. You can also visit the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Facebook Page

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