17 March: Lower the flow

Sheila- Ann Bennett, South Africa “Cape Town is facing an extreme water shortage. It is predicted that our water will run out by May, and we will have to drink recycled wastewater. We are all under rationing. With 3 kids and 10 people total living in my household, I must come up with creative ways to stick to the limit of 87 litres a day. I need to do washing once a week, and with that water I fill buckets to flush the toilet, water the garden, and clean floors and windows. Water is used for everything: cooking, cleaning, drinking. It is not easy.”

Lower the flow. Most sink taps and shower nozzles allow much more water to pass through the pipe than is needed for the task at hand. Install low-flow fittings to limit your water use without sacrificing function.


Many specially constructed taps conserve water without affecting the user’s experience of the appliance. They are readily available and easy to install.

Tap standards vary by country, but the water savings are, by and large, significant.

Low-flow showerheads can save 20% of the water used. Low-flow sink aerators can reduce 30% of the water used. Low-flush toilets can eliminate 20% of the water used.

Because much of the water used in sink and shower is heated, these taps also save energy and decrease the contribution to climate change.

Installing a low-flow tap protects the good gift of creation. As you work with your household or parish to install a tap that stewards our water, say thisprayer:

Upon the seas and waters send a blessing, O Lord.
Teach us to cherish the water of the earth,
and to conserve the seas, lakes and rivers.
We ask in faith:
we ask you to hear us, good Lord.

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