Over 30 years ago, Boutros Boutros Ghali, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations said, “The next war in the Middle East will be fought over water, not politics.” In 2003, he followed this up by saying, “Water will be more important than oil this century.” Fortune magazine agrees, stating in one article that, “Water is one of the world’s great business opportunities. It promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th.” And yet we literally pour this essential resource down the drain every day of our lives.


Unlike energy, there are no environmentally friendly alternatives when it comes to water. We can’t create new sources of water or generate it artificially. What we have is what we have. With the recent “Day Zero” water crisis still not over in Cape Town, what we have is clearly not enough. We have to do everything in our power to conserve what we have left. Installing a water-wise bathroom is a great way to start.


Unsurprisingly, bathrooms are the rooms in our homes in which we use the most water. Consider this:


  • The average person uses 60 litres of water every day just for flushing the toilet.
  • The average showerhead dispenses between 30 and 35 litres of water every single minute.
  • Showering accounts for 20 percent of all indoor water use.
  • A leaky toilet can waste over 700 litres of water every day – that’s the total average consumption of an entire household in India.
  • Toilets are the largest users of water in our homes, using about 11 litres of water every time you flush.
  • A constantly dripping tap can waste up to 90 litres of water a week.


How To Create A Water-Wise Bathroom

Fortunately for us, we’ve seen significant progress in water saving technologies over the years. This means we now have access to a range of modern, water saving appliances, fixtures and fittings that save water without compromising on performance. Whether your bathroom is small and compact or luxurious and spa-like, there are plenty of ways to make it water wise.


Shower Power

The simple act of changing your shower head can cut your water usage in half. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to endure a sad little flow of water that leaves you struggling to get wet. Modern, low-flow, water saving shower heads are luxuriously large, but because they’re fitted with aerators and flow regulators they reduce water consumption without affecting your water pressure. A water flow regulator maintains a constant, set flow rate – regardless of the line pressure. This can cut your consumption from 30 litres to 10 litres per minute. Some shower heads use as little as eight or nine litres.


How does it work? An aerating showerhead mixes air into the water stream. This maintains a steady pressure, giving you an even, full shower spray.


Tame Your Toilet

Toilets are the thirstiest fixtures in your entire bathroom – even more so than the shower. Dual flush toilets are a great way to cut water usage. You only use a small flush for liquids and a larger one for solids. The good news is you don’t have to buy a whole new toilet. Easy-to-install dual flush kits are available at most hardware or plumbing supply stores.


Another great option is the NXT range of toilets from Kohler. These high-tech toilets are the pinnacle of engineering genius, offering comfort and performance. NXT toilets are specifically designed to ensure that all waste falls in exactly the right place. This means it’s efficiently and cleanly washed away – with just one, powerful flush. There’s also no need for a water-wasting follow-up flush – precision mini-jets power away any residual waste. This ensures every inch of the bowl is thoroughly washed. The NXT range removes twice as much waste as the industry standard in a single flush. Your toilet has one job – so, make sure it does it well.


Clever Countertops

True, countertops don’t use water themselves, but you use water to clean them. So choose countertop materials that need minimal washing and cleaning. Laminate and quartzite are ideal, and are very on trend right now. They look beautiful and offer high functionality.


Grab A Gadget

Far from being gimmicky, these gadgets really do help you save water:


  • Boa Water Pebble – this clever little gadget use capacitive technology to monitor the water flow of your shower. It regulates the time you spend in your shower by using coloured lights to indicate the start, middle and end of your shower.
  • Shower Timer – this is a fantastic water saving device that activates and deactivates your water flow. After a 30-second running cycle, the water flow stops. You can then reactivate it for another 30-seconds when you need it. This helps you track your water use, and save water.


If you’d like some friendly, professional advice on how to create a water-wise bathroom, chat to Richmond Plumbing. From stylish baths to graceful mixers, practical sinks to high-end showerheads, we have what you need. We are also a preferred distributor for key brands such as Kohler, Duravit, Geberit, Grohe and Franke.