As anxious Cape Town residents try to comply with the municipality’s increasingly stringent water restrictions, which now limit them to 50l/day, previously mundane hardware items have turned into bestsellers. Hot-ticket items include buckets for collecting grey water to flush toilets, collapsible PVC pipes to channel rainwater from gutters into swimming pools and weed sprayers that double as cheap and water-efficient DIY showers. At dinner tables, in workplaces and on social media the staple discussion topics are innovative ideas to stave off Day Zero — when the city’s water supply dips so low the municipality turns off most taps, and rations residents to 25l/person/day at designated collection points. The Facebook page Water Shedding Western Cape has more than 152,000 members, who trade tips on water conservation that range from technical advice on installing rainwater tanks, pumps and filters to simple ways to stop grey water from smelling and recipes for home-made waterless hand ...

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