Dangerously accurate tweet about dishwashers

Spotted a while back, stored for blogging today, this tweet:

Lucy is entirely correct.

Obviously, I take the former role chez nous, which is important because masterful arrangement is key in the efficient use of water for dishwashing purposes. And we’re all about efficient use of water.

In scheduling this post, I’m relying on the fact that we’re on a boat some safe distance from decent wifi in the middle of the French countryside and thus Mrs 6000 will not see it. It’s not that she’d disagree with my part in the above relationship, but she may well take offence at the description of her tacited suggested position.

(Even though Lucy absolutely nailed it.)


15 months later…

…and while I was away this weekend, this idea was floated (no pun intended) once more.

Cue several (or more) twitter messages, a couple of twitter DMs and even a Whatsapp.

The news story in question details an ambitious plan to capture an iceberg and then tow it to Cape Town before mining it and selling it to the city to enhance the pitiful local water supply.

But only 10% of “their” “idea” is original.
The other 90%, hidden beneath the surface, blatantly rips me off.

In fact, the only two differences between this consortium’s recently announced proposed methodology and mine from 15 months ago, is that they plan to leave their iceberg out at sea and pump water to tankers to bring it ashore (I’m going to flatten the Franschhoek Valley and use gravity) and that they (stupidly) haven’t considered offsetting the cost of this challenging project by selling the final product in small bottles to craft brewers and achingly trendy Woodstock residents.

Still, those omissions are to their detriment and are surely not enough to convince any reasonable court of law that this consortium hasn’t ripped off my amazing idea, and thus I’m looking forward to being flush (only when it’s brown though) with cash real soon now.

Water bill

I’ve been quieter about the Cape Town water crisis recently as the threat of Day Zero has all but evaporated (currently put back as far as 9th July). But we’re not out of the woods yet, and nor will we be for at least a couple of years, so saving water is still a hugely important thing to be doing.

Our municipal bill arrived today and I’m really impressed with the efforts our family has made.

That equates to 34.5 litres per person per day, well inside the 50l pppd limit within which we are supposed to be sticking. (Just as well, looking at how expensive those last 2.2kl were.)

And that’s not even including the beagle, which has a Category 4 water utilisation rating: notoriously hydroconsumptive.

This most recent meter reading has helped me understand two things: firstly, there’s the realisation that it can be done. You can live a “Western” lifestyle on less than 50 litres of water each day. Sure, it’s not as straightforward as life without water restrictions, and in fact some of it is actually a bit of a pain, but it can be done. Secondly, it’s made me realise just how blasé we were about using water previously. And fair enough, to be honest, because there was actually plenty of it to go around.

I suspect that I’m not alone in these epiphanies, and whether or not Cape Town runs out of water in a couple of months time, the habits of thousands – possibly even millions – of residents will have been forever changed.

And that’s got to be good news.


UPDATE: There have been some questions. I’m happy to answer them.

No, we were not away on holiday. We didn’t even go away for a weekend. We were here every day.

Yes, a beagle. I know.

I checked back to an old bill for the same period in 2012: pre-water restrictions. I was amazed to find that this bill represents a 94% reduction in the amount of water we used, compared to then.
i.e. We used as much water in just 40 hours in February 2012 as we did in the whole 29 day period this year. Equal parts of incredible and terrifying.

Yes, I’ve double checked. Yes, it’s amazing.

We’re not really doing anything too draconian, just being very aware every time a tap gets turned on. It’s clearly working.

And no, we’re not SEWing. In fact, since the kids are banned from using drinking water from their school, we’ve been giving them more to take from home.

6000.co.za on grida.no


While I was enjoying the hospitality of the local… er… hospital yesterday*, some of my recent photos of Theewaterskloof

…were being used (with permissions and credits, I hasten to add) on the website of Norwegian environmental NGO, GRID Arendal.

GRID-Arendal was established in 1989 to support environmentally sustainable development by working with UN Environment and other partners. We communicate environmental knowledge that strengthens management capacity and motivates decision-makers to act. We transform environmental data into credible, science-based information products, delivered through innovative communication tools and capacity building services.

Now you know.


GRID-Arendal have been doing a lot of work on water provision and sustainability across Africa, and this article (with my photos) details Cape Town’s current plight for their readers around the world.

As I mentioned earlier in the year, I’m also looking forward to having some of my snaps published in other publications this year (and some in a book due for publication in September 2019!).


* with apparently what should be a positive outcome [champagne bottle emoji] [I’ll keep you informed emoji].

Drought crossword

Incoming from Mr Crossword himself:

I’ve uploaded a new crossword – attempted a Cape Town drought theme.

And he had. And he did. Here you go:


A couple of genius clues in there this month. 5 across and 4 down were particular favourites. And I think it must be easier than usual because I managed most of it this time around. Enjoy!

Still struggling to get this to appear on the homepage, so if you can’t see the puzzle above, simply click here to reload.