Busi­ness lets cre­ative juices flow in emer­gency

Sunday Times - - NEWS - TASCHICA PILLAY

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

Pic­ture: ESA ALEXAN­DER

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