Do you know what I hate most about Cape Town’s water crisis? Not the two-minute-only showers, every other day. Not watching my garden dry up and wither away. Or only flushing the toilet once a day (although this runs a close second). So what else could possibly be the problem ? I hear you ask. I’ll tell you. Dishwashing. Huh? What? Dishwashing?? Yes. You see I own a dishwasher and have done for years, ever since I immigrated nearly 40 years ago. Being a single parent, working all day, maid-less for the first time in my life, and since dishwashers were on the market, it seemed the obvious solution. Which it was. Brilliant solution. But the machines use an awful lot of water, so …. Need I go any further? There! I’ve got that off my chest. I can see you shaking your collective heads as you click CLOSE. We all have our personal stumbling blocks, and this is my current one.
*(Just a Paragraph: when I’m short of time and/or inspiration, I keep my blog ticking over with ‘just a paragraph; random thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas … little snippets)




  1. Alison, I feel your pain, but I read somewhere that washing machines( the clothes kind) use far less water than you think so maybe you should Google and find out how much water you dishwasher actually uses. Ive never owned one but make a point of just piling the dishes and cups in the sink without swishing them out individually and just wash once a day, at night. We are in for the long haul, water wise! !


  2. Ecoecho

    Doesn’t it have different settings, Alison? Most modern ones have eco settings. One can also get smaller dishwashers now – 6 place settings.


  3. Good news Alison, a dishwasher uses less than 11 litres per load. That is why I purchased one. Far less than hand washing.


  4. I dont like the sound of that 2 minute shower. How on earth can that be enforced?


    • It is enforced by our social conscience, and the knowledge that if our monthly usage exceeds a certain amount, the penalty charges are horrendous. Cape Town is literally running out of water, in the worst drought for 100 years. Our dams (our main water supply) contain only 27% of potable water. It is entirely likely our city of 3.7 million will run out of water by March 2018. Our hotte3st months are January & February, coinciding with the height of the tourist season. Tourism accounts for a hefty portion of our Province’s income. Something like 60% plus. So: yes – we have had to drastically reduce our water usage.


  5. I’ve been trying to save water by washing the dishes (by hand) only every second day (urgh… I abhor going to bed with a load of dirty dishes in the sink… it goes against all my Germanic upbringing). I use as little hot soapy water as I can, and use a bucket for rinsing – the rinse water then gets used in the garden or for washing hands or other things. I’ve not been able to figure out how to use rinse water to flush the toilet – no matter how I try to ‘throw’ it into the toilet bowl, it simply does not work! What bugs me the most is that I haven’t been able to do my customary ‘spring clean’ in ages… it’s impossible to clean the house properly without water. 😦


    • ‘They’ – you know the ubiquitous ‘they’ -say you should not use kitchen waste water to flush the loo; too much grease & detritus, which may have a detrimental effect on rubber washers inside the cistern. So I use bathroom grey water only in my cistern. Trick is to remove the lid to the cistern, and pour in the grey water from above. Press Flush. Bingo!


  6. I think it depends on how old your dishwasher is. Newer models are actually more efficient than washing dishes by hand. Trust me, I had to investigate the whole thing when we were going to a terrible drought here in California and all kinds of drastic measures were implemented. By the way, when I was in CT I got used to collecting the water in buckets during my showers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t even imagine what you are going through! So sorry for you all. California has had the same problem in the past. Thankfully, knock wood, this hasn’t happened in the Midwest. I am sending prayers for rain.

    Liked by 1 person

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