Business lets creative juices flow in emergency
FROM waterless manicures and pedicures to shutting down steam rooms and saunas, businesses across the country have started implementing drastic — and creative — water-saving measures.
And prepare yourselves for cocktails around empty swimming pools, as businesses and hotels in drought-hit Cape Town try to save as much water as possible.
The City of Cape Town this week imposed level four water restrictions — which include a ban on all use of municipal drinking-quality water for outdoor and non-essential purposes — as dam storage levels dropped to a scary 19.7%.
Department of water and sanitation spokesman Sputnik Ratau said the national water level stood at 72.4% compared to 53.8% at the same time last year.
“For the large part there has been a healthy recovery, with the exception of the Eastern Cape which is still below where it was last year this time.
“The reality is that the rainy season has ended, except for the Western Cape which is a winterrain area. The country and region is still in a drought, therefore the need to use water sparingly and wisely,” he said.
As Cape Town steps up its efforts to get residents to dramatically reduce consumption, businesses have started doing their part.
This week, the Sorbet Group launched its water-saving programme. Marketing manager Jade Kirkel said the beauty treatment company had asked customers to opt for waterless manicures and pedicures.
“We have sent out processes and procedures to our therapists on how to offer the same Sorbet manis and pedis our guests are used to, but with, for example, using hot towel compresses instead of water.
“We have also dropped our pedicure water bowl levels to 50%. Guests are also offered a 10% discount when they bring their own towel or come with pre-washed hair to our hair salon.”
Virgin Active health clubs in the Western Cape have closed their saunas and steam rooms and have stopped topping up swimming pools. These will be closed when the water level is no longer safe for swimming.
Wesley Noble, a spokesman for Virgin Active, said the clubs were shutting high-pressure showers, educating members and cutting water usage in every area.
The Radisson Blu hotel at the EVERY DROP: The V&A Waterfront Radisson Blu has closed its pool V&A Waterfront has closed its outdoor swimming pool.
Hotel manager Debra Sivertsen said: “We are asking our guests to choose showers over baths, reduce their shower time to five minutes and close the tap while they brush their teeth.
“To save on water used on laundry, we ask that our guests reuse their towel, so as to save water by not having the towels washed every day. Local and international guests will understand, as we are facing a drastic situation.”
The five-star One&Only Hotel in the heart of the V&A Waterfront will not be changing sheets and towels in rooms daily for long-staying guests, while aerating devices have been fitted to guest basins to restrict water flow.
Water left in ice buckets and unfinished bottles of mineral water will be recycled and grey water reused. Resort vehicles are being washed with waterless chemicals; open-water features and the resort swimming pool are not being topped up.
“One&Only recognises that our biggest contribution to alleviating the water crisis would be to cut off the municipal water supply completely and we are working aggressively towards completing a strategy to be fully self-sufficient,” said hotel manager Nick Solomon.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is using the water from its spa foot rituals and unfinished water from bedrooms, conference rooms and ice buckets to water their gardens and lawns.
It has reduced the size of the bottles of water given to guests, installed water aerators on all taps and shower heads and switched off fountains.
The makers of Sunlight detergent products said their SmartFoam washing powder would save water, because less was needed for rinsing.
They said that based on sales of the new washing powder from March to June 2017, consumers would have been able to save an estimated 65.2 million litres of water.
The reality is that the rainy season has ended, except for the Western Cape. The country is still in a drought