Water-wise Cooking Tips for Capetonians

Water-wise Cooking Tips for Capetonians


Cape Town is currently facing its worst drought in 100 years and whether or not you think big corporations, selfish private residents or short-sighted politicians are to blame the fact remains: you need to do something in your personal capacity to lighten the load.

The Cape Town government has called on locals to keep their water usage, as of 1 February 2018, to just 50 litres of water per day.

Essentially, residents should now use 18 litres of water for washing and laundry, 15 litres for showering, nine litres to flush their toilets, three litres for daily hygiene, two litres for cooking, two litres for drinking water and one litre for animals. – IoL

Preparing your meals might not seem like a big water waster, but when you consider the water required to produce, package, ship and store your food before it even lands in your kitchen, you start to realise that food and food production is a big water spender. That’s why it’s important to do what you can on an individual basis to ensure your kitchen isn’t contributing to the drought.


Here are some tips to keep your kitchen water wise:

  • Gone are the days of defrosting frozen goods with warm water. Rather opt for your microwave’s defrost setting or leave it in the fridge to defrost on its own.
  • Capture any excess water you might create, whether you’re waiting for the tap to change temperature or you’re straining a pot of pasta. This grey water can be used to water your plants or flush your toilet.
  • Cooking veggies? Steam them rather than boiling. Not only will you be using a fraction of the water for a delicious meal, it’s also the healthier option.
  • Say goodbye to bottled water. Bottled water uses more water than you eventually get to consume. For every 1 liter water bottle created, 1.4 liters of water is actually used. Fill up your own bottles and keep them cool in the fridge.
  • Ditch the meat, or at the very least try out Meatless Mondays. Meat production in general, and beef in particular are the biggest water wasters so if you’re truly serious about saving water, include more plant-based foods into your diet.

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