Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dealing with the Drought - Stylishly

As my local readers already know, Cape Town is in the grip of the worst drought in over a century, with less than 10% of it's usable water remaining for its residents. If and when we reach day zero, we will have our taps turned off completely and have to queue for our daily allocation of water which is a way of life almost inconceivable to many of us. 

If we are reduced to a daily allowance of 25 litres per person, our morning routines will start to resemble this Degas painting, so lets get prepared people!

Being a glass half full type of person, I have decided not to dwell on the negative, but to try to make living with the bare minimum of water as stylish as possible. 

We have all got used to the buckets filled with grey water lined up in our loo's to flush when necessary. Instead of the ugly, plastic buckets, why not use these more stylish enamel ones?

Even better, try and find one with a lid, especially if you have toddlers in the house...

Instead of washing hands after using the loo, supply some hand sanitiser instead. I like this simply packaged one from from Charlotte Rhys.

....or buy an inexpensive version in bulk and decant it into a stylish glass spray bottle.

 Opt for putting your bath towels in the sun every day to dry out - you will need to wash them less often as the sun kills bacteria. Find yourself an attractive free standing towel rail to put in a sunny corner of your bedroom or bathroom....

...or move it out into the garden during the day

Use an enamel basin for washing in your bathroom so the water doesn't disappear down the drain. Instead, redistribute it for flushing the loo or in your garden. 

If you can find an old enamel jug as well, even better. If we get to the point of having no water coming out of our taps, a jug like this filled with water for washing will look much better than any plastic container.


Use a glass of water for teeth brushing, leaving a little to rinse the toothbrush, instead of a running tap.

Wash you hair less often, use a dry shampoo for inbetween days and invest in a stylish hat.

Instead of washing your face with water, use Micellar Water to cleanse, no rinsing required.

In the kitchen, fill a handsome water dispenser like this one with drinking water and place it on your counter.....

Instead of using ice, keep these reuable whisky rocks in your freezer to cool down your drink.

Use a basin inside your sink  for washing your dishes. It makes it a lot easier to collect your grey water.

Did you perhaps get one of those silver napkin rings inscribed with your name when you were christened. Now is the time to get them out of the archives. Reuse your napkins for a few meals before you wash them. More enviro-friendly than using paper napkins. 

Steam your veggies instead of boiling them - it uses much less water and is healthier.

Now some ideas for your garden... if your rainwater tank is in a highly visible position, perhaps disguise it with trellising, latte or bamboo.  

Place a good looking galvanised watering can just outside your door for any grey water destined for the garden. 

Collect your fruit and veg skins, tea leaves and other suitable waste in an attractive compost container. Regularly add them to your compost heap - compost rich soil retains moisture much better.

Plant only drought tolerant plants like lavendar, succulents and olive trees and replace lawn with gravel or pavers.

or, dare I say it, how about some artificial turf - you will never have a brown lawn again!

Finally, Capetonians, you have never had a better reason to drink less water and more wine.

So there you are - my tips for staying stylish sans water!

Till next time
Sharon x


  1. Loved this post Sharon! Just what I needed to boost my Monday morning here in Cape Town where all we can think and talk about is water :(

  2. Hi Sharon, I love your ideas...and making our crisis at least appear stylish. If we are drying up, lets do it in style! Wonderful ideas and you lightened my sagging spirit! Thank you!!!

  3. I only heard about this emergency a few days ago. I'm SO sorry for all who are affected. I live in Texas, where we had severe drought for 4 years. Thankfully, it ended, but we still try to conserve where we can. We were curious, living so close to the ocean, why the country does not have a desalination plant ? Where does your water come from ? Rain only? Stored somewhere ?

    1. Sharon, the system would not allow me to reply to your email, so I am putting it here:
      Sharon, thank you for the reply. I like to be informed, even though you are on the other side of the world from me. I do care about people and the issues they face daily. It’s so sad that all our countries can’t work together to help each other with problems like this. I will pray for your rain! I enjoy your blog and seeing the world where I cannot be. I did not know your corner of the world was as beautiful as you show us. Thank you.

  4. How do you do it? How can you write about a drought and make it wonderful ? I am so jealous of your unique writing style, and I loved every single photo and word today. xx's