We measured how much water we were using each week as a family. We found that we are quite low water users because we were already fairly water-wise. Our total usage per person per day was approximately 76 litres. This is less than the amount of water allowed per person under Level 5 Restrictions (which began in Cape Town in September 2017).
Due to the drought in the Western Cape (where we live), we started reducing the amount of water we used each day. We did this by having shorter stop-start showers, stopping baths, flushing less often, etc. We found that we reduced our water usage to approximately 46 litres per person per day. Level 6 Restrictions, which began in February 2018 in Cape Town, allow people 50 litres per person per day.
We learnt about the threat of Day Zero in Cape Town, when taps would be shut off and people would have to go to collect their water, and they would only be allowed 25 litres per person per day. We wanted to see what it would be like to try to live on 25 litres of water per day. So, we started using only grey-water for toilet flushing. We collected all our water from showers, sinks and washing up, and used this to flush the toilets. This reduced the water we used to flush toilets to zero, because we were re-using the grey-water. By doing this we decreased our water usage to approximately 21 litres per person per day!
We found that it was possible to live on less than 25 litres of water per day, but it was quite hard work. Day Zero would also be very hard because people would have to go and collect their water. We were pleased to hear that Day Zero will now hopefully not be happening, but we are continuing to save water as much as we can.