If you are like me and are from the West you probably haven’t heard of “gray water”. I had never heard the term until a few weeks ago. Gray water is something I have come to hold as a valuable commodity. Gray water is the relatively clean waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances. It isn’t really clean water but it isn’t really dirty either, to put it simply. What is the importance of gray water? Why am I spending time even talking about something that seems so insignificant? Well, it is actually a big deal in much of Africa and can make a huge difference for us here in the Western Providence of South Africa.
We are in the middle of the worst drought in over 100 years. What makes this even more critical is the fact that we are heading into summer which is the dry season. NO RAIN in the forecast for months!!! Gray water is more than just waste water for many. Gray water is water what most of us flush with, let flow down the sink freely, and pour into the sewer without even a thought. Not here! We collect and save as much of it as we can. It’s not just a “green, earth friendly” thing to do but a must so we can use or reuse it and hopefully not run out of water one day.
Challenge: for the next 5 days pay attention to the extra water that you may waste by leaving the sink run while brushing your teeth or washing dishes, time how long your normal shower is, count how many times a day you flush the toilet, how long do you water your lawn (with clean water), calculate how much water you use to fill a bath…You will be shocked at how quickly 23 gallons of water is used up!!! Here is a link to a helpful calculator that will help you gain an accurate number on how much water you might use in a week, http://mycapetownneeds.co.za/thinkwater/
Our family can only take 2 minutes or less showers, collect the shower water in buckets to use in other places, turn the water off to toilets, and follow the motto “if it is yellow let it mellow but if it is brown flush it down”, to do our part in helping with the water shortage. We are only allowed to use 87L (23 gallons) of water per person a day or we will receive a large fine. The city is now talking about the pipes drying up one day and maybe sooner than we think, if we do not take drastic measures to reduce our water usage. We are grateful to live in a community that has three lakes that supply our clean water. Those is the townships and more heavily crowded areas like Cape Town are the ones that will suffer first and are suffering today from the lack of clean water.
Thankfully it has rained 3 days this past week!!! But we need so much more rain for this problem to be fixed. Will you PLEASE join us in prayer that the Lord will fill our lakes and reservoirs with ample amounts of water?!?! Join us in asking for a miracle and trusting that the Lord is going to use this for His purposes and fame here in our community and providence!
Father, in your power and authority we pray that you will fill our lakes and reservoirs either from the ground up or from the skies down. Let it be said that the Lord is good and has shown us his favor. You are the one that is able! Amen
Job 5:10, he gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields;
Job 38:37, Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
Zechariah 10:1, Ask rain from the Lord
in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
and he will give them showers of rain,
to everyone the vegetation in the field.
James 5:18, Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
More reading on the water crisis: