I water my garden with a trickle that runs slowly from a hose attached to a large green water tank. It takes forever to soak into the soil around my tomato and aubergine seedlings. Yet I take the time on some evenings because it's a time of day I sometimes have all to myself, and because municipal water is expensive and I feel guilty if I use it for what is only a pastime. I grow vegetables and fruit, but I don't have to. But for middle-class homes accustomed to switching on a washing machine or loading and reloading the dishwasher, the future may be somewhat different. The original plans for the house in which I live, which was built in 1910, stipulated that all waste water should be disposed of in the garden - that excluded sewage, which was left in the service lane overnight for the night soil man to collect. Well, some of us are back to using bath and washing-machine water for the garden, and, sooner than we think, it may be essential. The struggle for clean water is already a s...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.