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The Terrible Triplett

Water harvesting and use, same logic as solar systems.

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This lady, had the penny drop for here: https://brettfish.co.za/2018/01/24/day-zero-approaches-water-going-meet-shanas-realisation/#iLightbox[gallery20284]/null

I smiled at this: "... combine a shower, hair wash and condition, teeth wash and leg shave all just using 5l of water."

My sense of humour:
- Shower - wet wipes, you can afford it - R0l of water.
- Gair wash and conditioner - dry shampoo, you can afford it - R0l of water. OR shorter hairdo. 
-Teeth wash - swallow the water, ooo, you can't, toothpaste is bad for you, change that, you can afford it - R0l of water.
- Leg shave, electric shaver, you can afford it - R0l of water.
Total water used: ZERO!

BUT, she does highlight a EXTREMELY important matter: 
“However, we have set our own higher target of at least:
– one shared toilet to maximum of five households; and
– one tap to 25 households and within a maximum walking distance of 200 metres.”

Taking the above two things she realised, we are worlds apart. We being the affluent homes and the people living as above.

We scamper for saving a few liters, spend thousands on water tanks and systems, yet we are not even CLOSE to the above savings.

Therein the DA's plight, the inaction, the drawn out plans, the scrambling for solutions, not knowing what to say and what not, dealing with people worlds apart, different opinions, life experiences, expectations.

To merge the worlds of all living where water is a problem in the Western Cape, is a near impossible task without very strong single minded leadership, autocratic even, for we are nowhere CLOSE to "Unity Creates Power". 

And if ANYONE think it is just one group causing the problem, think carefully on that. There are idiots blatantly wasting precious drinking water in all the people groups making up the Western Cape.

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@plonkster, @Mark - lets say I take the 1st water from the washing machine into a drum.

Treat the water with the biological goed to take the smell out. Was on one of my post.

Maybe also use bio-friendly washing powder.

Then I connect my 1.1kw pool pump to a pool sand filter and pump said water, 200l would be VERY quick, thought the sand filter.

Could the water be clean enough to re-use again for the 1st wash?

If not, the next question: How can one get recycling in place to deal with a washing machines 1st water, that it can be re-used indefinitely.

The rinsing water could be rainwater (when I can get some), then used for toilets.

Brings the 600l down to 300l per month, nothing of which comes from CoCT.

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2 hours ago, gabriel said:

bound a little distance from a tap dripping into a bucket

Dude, dignity is in our constitution. You'd get smacked even harder than those doodkis guys (still don't know what the heck they were thinking 1) doing it, 2) filming it, 3) distributing the film...).

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In case there are any people, like me, who don't want to be bothered with drilling holes in metal and all that, here are drums for sale with connector at the bottom, optional 80mm hole on top.

Would think it ideal to install under a gutter maybe, connect a hose. Or for washing machine water.



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In all fairness to the DA in CoCT, they do not have authority to supply bulk water. That is the responsibility of national government which is totally incompetant and crooked. If a cabinet minister thinks CapeTown is a foreign country, as has been reported in the media , any understanding of the serious consequences if they do not fullfil their statutory obligations will be a major miracle. So let us place the blame where it belongs.

Some years ago I saw photos of the dismal condition of a feeder canal from other rivers to the Voelvlei dam. It was only recently repaired by Water Affairs Dept. Likewise did they actively resist the building of the Bergriver dam which CoCT in desperation built and citizens have to pay the loans back. All this is according to what Helen Zille revealed at a public presentation recently. It is glaringly clear that DWA acted unconstitutionally in not taking steps to supply water in the Western Cape given that the excessive influx of people from the failed rest of the country is common knowledge. So it is not just Zuma that should be prosecuted. Which brings us to the much revered legacy of Nelson Mandela and that is the mess the nation suffers today which he and his political party bestowed on us.

What we now have to figure out is where to get water if the dams run dry. Massive desalination ala Dubai, with its 2.15 billion liters per day with vacuum flash evaporation using waste heat from the gas turbines of the electricity generators, is the only proven solution in the longer term. Meanwhile desalination by RO to augment whatever water remains in the dams, seems the only short term solution. And again we have to ask, where is DWA whose resposibility it is. Perhaps we should stop paying taxes and do our own thing to the point of seperating our province from the rest of RSA. The country is the product of Whitehall and the much despised colonialism after all.

Enough said, have a good weekend while there is still water around.

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1 hour ago, ebrsa said:

If a cabinet minister thinks CapeTown is a foreign country

apparently she did not say it BUT

it would have been totally in line with the president who can not count and believes africa to be larger than all the other continents together...

for those unfortunate who missed out on the 'fun'


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2 hours ago, ebrsa said:

That is the responsibility of national government which is totally incompetant and crooked

The gunning of the DA is to distract and divide.


Cannot check the source, but it is a positive note:

Steven Underwood, a Capetonian who survived complete water shut offs many times while living in Gabarone has shared a positive and encouraging post on the current water crisis and looming “Day Zero” in Cape Town.

Perspective is everything.

As Cape Town hits level 6b water restrictions, I thought I would share a few observations from my time in drought affected Gaborone, where we reached Day Zero (empty taps) many times during my 4 years there:

1) You will not die.

2) Yes, you will suffer a little but what’s wrong with a little suffering? It builds character.

3) Businesses and schools will not shut down (as some suggest) but will have to adapt to using grey water for ablutions. It’s a mind-set change, children don’t be afraid. Adults don't give up, persevere and keep adding value to the economy (not to minimise the plight of businesses that need fresh water for their product, they will really struggle).

4) Water is a renewable resource and therefore 25 litres goes a long way. Water for washing can be caught and reused for ablutions. It’s not very nice (see point 2) but once again it’s a mindset.

5) It’s not the ANC/DA’S fault nor climate change. It’s could be my fault because I use too much water (i.e. more than supply), which is great because I don’t have to rely on government or scientists to fix it, I just have to use less water.

6) Help will come in some form. Businesses will spring up delivering water (in Gabs it was 2 JoJo tanks on a flatbed truck), desalination boats will flock to our harbours (if they don’t exist then then a millionaire genius will quickly invent and build one). Water may even come from the sky but somehow we will change the game for the better.

7) You will learn to appreciate water and take joy in the little things. One time, while driving to visit a friend in Phikwe, the heavens opened on road just past Palapye. The driver in front of me pulled to the side of the road and started dancing in the rain, what a beautiful feeling.

8) Stay positive. With the right mindset, the water crisis can actually be fun. You will spend more time outdoors, you will connect with your neighbours, you will receive help and help others, you will waste less time on Facebook/TV and you will have great stories to tell.

We will come through it!

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That article I linked to above, here are a 2 points I want to lift out, one I knew and one I missed for weeks now.

“I don’t want to underestimate how catastrophic Day Zero could be. It would require thousands of tankers to provide a minimal level of water to each person. You would have to think of temporarily evacuating people.”

2ndly, Lille said  while ago: We have to exclude the densely populated areas like the townships. If we turn the taps off there, we face significant risks in those areas like disease.

.... and anarchy.


Now before you get a hernia, trust me, it is the right thing to do. We always say help the poor, Well, this is how you get down and do it.

And to show your true support for the poor, you, the more affluent citizen, will stand in queues for water, just like they live every day. :D:D:D:D

Lets not pay the additional water levy, they said, it is mos wrong, the said. (facepalm)

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Go to  www.dearcapetown.co.za 

Select the water by-law and comment. Points people are complaining about:

I agree that the people in the Western Cape must use less water, by whatever means necessary, to ensure our collective future.

We must stop blaming the political parties, it is distracting focus from the real issue, the Dept of Water squandering our taxes.

The points pointed out to me:
- Have plans for your Jojo tanks / alternative supply - I agree. People are / have connected their tanks to their house feed. Accidentally or on purpose, feeding water back, could be a health hazard for the rest of the users. Like solar grid tied systems, it must be regulated. See point 5 in the proposal.

- 6L cistern for your toilet - ja en, what is the problem with that? We flush too much drinking water down the toilets.

- Use a plumber registered at the city - ja en? That sorts the backyard fly by night operators. Good plumbers register, helping US to save our water resources.

- Accept the new water meters and pay for them - ja en? Older meters are problematic, maybe some people have bypassed them, using scaly plumbers. And who else must pay for the meter? If each person pays, there is less chance of corruption, funds re-used for other "purposes".

Come on Western Cape, we have to start using water more wisely. Laws are there to ensure the majorities compliance, not to nail individuals. It is the only way we will collectively save, forcing the water price up. 

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15 hours ago, ebrsa said:

feeder canal from other rivers to the Voelvlei dam. It was only recently repaired by Water Affairs Dept.

Don't know the full story about repair, but I know Cape Town paid to have it cleaned. I believe there is a court case hanging, because Cape Town wants that money back.

15 hours ago, ebrsa said:

Likewise did they actively resist the building of the Bergriver dam which CoCT in desperation built and citizens have to pay the loans back.

They did actively resist it, and eventually agreed only if Cape Town funded a part of it. I'm not sure how much. Cape Town is still paying off the loan they took out to do that, that is to say, the rate payers are still paying for it.

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10 hours ago, plonkster said:

my well is running dry :-(

O no!

It is starting ... the water table is dropping?

Wonder in the bigger scheme of things, how that would impact of CoCT overall?

As in the US of A, over time, or if the replenishment takes very long, the drought 7 years instead of rains returning this season, it could lead to subsidence in some places, or not. 

Would be rather peeved, having no subsidence insurance cover, to see my house sinking into the ground. I wonder, would that classify as a "sinking feeling"?

No seriously, it is a concern apparently. no-one knows where this can end really, bar what has happened in the States.


Nothing to do with underground water. Heard from our plumber, seeing he must fix pipes, two things are becoming an issue.

People on predominantly clay ground, are starting to see cracks in their walls, as the ground dries out more. Here is the bummer. When the rains return, the clay will move again, causing more new cracks. What a bummer. 

Same with pipes.

And more and more pipes are being blocked, burst. The tree root are growing into the pipes, cracking and blocking them, in the searching for water. Amazing how mother nature always finds a way.

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43 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

It is starting ... the water table is dropping?

Oh, this isn't new. It drops this low every year... but usually only by April. So that is new. It's usually not this low in January. I cleaned out a lot of roots and dug it out a little deeper yesterday. Cleaned out the foot valve. That gives me a little margin for now. I'm going to see if I can find some guys to dig it out another 500mm or maybe a meter.

There's two of these holes next to each other. I have never opened it up in the 8 years we've been living here. I now see all the shortcuts, and that the second well isn't even linked up with the first and is about 500mm shallower. So just digging out both of them should help quite a bit.

I'm also going to put another ring on the top and a manhole cover. Don't want to have to dig it up again for maintenance.

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Phase 1 and 2 never fussed me ... we HAVE to get water wise. Good training for us all.

This whole threads core is about the issue of the over commitment, like during Eskom failures, but now with home water works that can turn into white elephants when the rains return, or we have enough desalination plants.

But also about the darker side, the side when the rainy season does not fill the dams with enough water to carry us through.

EDIT: From what I gather, the alternative sources are all behind schedule, and insufficient to supply all of Cpt. What is still not happening, is the point below in red.

Level 3.jpg

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To see what we could expect the cost of desalinated water would be, I had a look at the tariffs of DEWA in Dubai. The link below is for a calculator of their's on the Internet.


for 1 - 6000 Imperial Gallons it is 3.5 fils per Imperial gallon

Fuel surcharge is 0.6 fils per gallon

VAT is 5%

The latest exchange rate is AED 1 = ZAR 3.23006 and there ate 100 fils per Dirham. 1 Imperial gallon = 4.54609 litres.

The lowest bracket is 1-6000 IG or 1 to 27276 Liters.

My consumption for December was 6 Kl for which Swartland Municipality charged R63.72 but only 1.60Kl was at the higher tariff. the rest was on the very low base tariff.

In Dubai I would have a bill for AED 48.59 or R156.96.

Sure this is a bit  more but the tariff stays constant up to 27Kl. DEWA also had a surplus of R21.24 billion for water and electricity in 2016 whereas Swartland lost about R14 million if my memory still works to some extent. It is just too tedious to look up the actual figure.

So clearly desalination a grand scale is irrefutably viable if you use the same proven systems as Dubai. The question is whether those to whom the service delivery locally is entrusted are willing to learn from those who are successful.



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The more I read about the problems people are facing in Cape Town and PE, w.r.t water shortage, the more I wonder whether this wasn't all planned by government. Think about it: We cannot control the rainfall. Sure. But can / could control the storage, recycling and repurposing of water (i.e. grey water). In 2005, I remember some water shortages in the Pinelands areas (probably others too) and how people were forced to use bath water for their plants. We also had the same in Gauteng from time to time. 

But, back then, why didn't government do anything about? Was it really pure laziness, or rather an elaborate scheme to force people, at some stage (which is upon us) to buy water at much higher rates than they should - just to make more money from the masses? The poor, who don't pay for water, get it for free - why? And when day zero arrives, what will happen? They will still get their water for free - or start burning down stuff. But the middle class, middle upper class and upper class will end up paying for it all. 


just my 2c. 

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