Residents of Gauteng are facing a tough week ahead after Rand Water announced, on Tuesday, that it will be forced to cut off the Johannesburg water supply for scheduled maintenance.
The city’s main distributor of water revealed that, at the very least, the disruptions would run for 54 hours.
However, residents have been urged to make provisions for longer disruptions as complications can be expected in the installation of a valve.
Johannesburg water shutdown: Which areas will be affected?
Rand Water supplies a range of municipalities in the Gauteng province. Thus, these areas will be affected:
- Johannesburg (City)
- Rand West Local Municipality
For a more detail explanation of how the Johannesburg water shutdown will work, click here.
How to survive with limited water supply
Blind optimists may view two or more days with little to no water as a simple and easy experience. However, many of those affected will not have the money to purchase large amounts of bottled water to supplement the household’s needs.
On average, a household operating on a strict usage policy will run through at least 50 litres per day, and with the price of five litres sitting anywhere between R15-R20, one can apply simple mathematics to understand how much of an expensive alternative this is if, by some spate of bad luck, Rand Water is forced to extend the shutdown for a longer period.
Therefore, we have compiled a list of things you can do to survive with limited water supply for at least two days.
Stock up on as much water as possible before Monday, 24 June
Before the clock strikes midnight, make sure that your 25-litre buckets are filled to the brim with tap water, especially if there are at least four people living in your household.
This will limit the need for you to purchase the pricey bottled water for things like bathing and cooking.
The sink is the new bathtub
Although it has been confirmed that water will not be cut off for the entire duration of the scheduled 54 hours, it is safe to assume that there won’t be any water available during the times you will need to wash.
Therefore, to save water, you can use the sink to wipe yourself with a cloth as an alternative to the power shower. It is not ideal but it will get the job done and save you a ton of water you may need for other things like cooking and drinking.
Water filtration before you drink
Filtration systems are often expensive but if the recent Cape Town water crisis taught us anything, it is to invest in one of these in case of emergencies.
If this is well outside your budget, then don’t fret. There are alternative ways to remove the dangerous heavy metals and other contaminants that will likely be present in the tiny stream of water that you will be able to siphon during the shutdown.
Boiling water is one efficient way to do it.
Drink water sparingly
Do away with the two-litres per day rule and rather drink a glass or two. This may not be ideal in dry conditions but drinking less water will allow for enough water to be used to supplement other needs, like cooking and staying clean.
Limit visits to the loo
A shutdown of water supply means that the toilet will most likely be restricted from getting the water it needs to flush away all of our excrement deposits.
While the alternative would be to manually fill up the bin, it requires a lot of water. Limited visits to the loo are largely linked with temporary dietary changes so think twice before you eat foods that are high in fibre.
Store at least 15-litres in case of emergencies
Rand Water did warn residents of the possibility that the water shutdown may stretch beyond two days. Therefore, in case of emergencies, it is wise to store a minimum of 15 litres of water.