Book Review: 101 Water Wise Ways

Helen Moffett


Review: Brian Joss

Whether or not Day Zero will become a reality or is just a conspiracy theory cooked up by a public relations consultancy, the fact is Cape Town is facing a crisis and one of the worst droughts in decades, we who live in the Western Cape have to become water-wise, even though predictions are that we are going to have a wet, wet winter. To get your mind in to gear Helen Moffett, academic of note who has written several university text books and co-authored erotica, has produced a can-do guide to saving water. It is not a one-size fits all: it is a word map that will help you change your mindset

Some of Moffett’s suggestions may make you chuckle, including cutting down on laundry, but they make a lot of sense. If  your gym clothes show signs of walking by themselves wear them in the shower and wash them when you clean your body, you can also hand wash your undies at the same time, and if you want to dry them quicker, put them in the salad spinner.  You can also “air launder” your workout gear (hang them on the line) or put them in the freezer for a few hours to kill the bacteria that cause smells.

You can also use old teabags to wipe the gunk off dishes, instead of rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher which you should pack to capacity and then use it. Afterwards, you can dump the teabags in the compost heap, if you have one. Making your own hand sanitiser is cheaper than a store-bought one and is gentler on the skin. Fill a small spray bottle with boiling water and a dash of Milton (steriliser) and use it when you need it.

These are just a few of the 101 water-saving ideas in the book which is divided in to 14 sections offering advice to everyone including restaurants, businesses, employers, guests, visitors and tourists.

Moffett also blogs about water under the “Green Hat” tab on

101 Water Wise Ways should be a must in every household, even in areas not facing a water crisis. It includes web addresses of resources: where to get “banana boat” plates, cups, compostable bowls and containers; how to recycle plastic water bottles, and more.  There’s also a shopping wish list.

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