19/04/2018 12:03 BST | Updated 19/04/2018 13:12 BST

FACT: Washing Dishes By Hand Wastes More Water Than A Dishwasher

With the right appliances in your home and office, reducing water consumption becomes far more effective than ever before.

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Amid a crippling drought in places such as Western Cape, modern dishwasher appliances don't just save you time, but they can also drive down your water and energy consumption.

Dam levels across Western Cape at the start of March touched 20.83 percent – compared to 30.09 percent at the same time last year - according to provincial officials. Thankfully, Cape Town residents heeded the call to save water this year, meaning that local government officials believe Day Zero won't happen in 2018.

Putting Cape Town's admirable water-saving situation in perspective, residents managed to cut consumption from 1.2-billion litres per day in 2015 to 516-million litres per day. This means Capetonians only use on average 129 litres per person per day, much lower than drought-stricken California – where residents averaged 387 litres at the peak of the 2015 drought.

Unfortunately, despite these water savings, Capetonians are still not off the hook, as the picture looks unclear regarding rainfall levels in the next 12 months. Saving every drop will become more critical — but doing so doesn't have to come at a major expense to your lifestyle. That's where increased energy- and water-efficient appliances like dishwashers can make a huge difference in households.

Research on the comparison of hand-washing and dishwasher machines has shown that hand-washing is more water intensive.

Depending on the size of your household, washing dishes by hand can use an average of 50 litres of water, 2.60kWh of power and approximately 60 minutes to complete per wash. Washing with a new, green-technology dishwasher results in using only 6.5 litres of water and 0.67 kWh of energy. What's more, it will only take an average of 15 minutes to load and unload the dishes.

With the right appliances in your home and office, reducing water consumption becomes far more effective than ever before

Breaking down the numbers, this means that when using a dishwasher, households could save up to 45 minutes per load, giving families an extra 210 hours of quality time or 23 vacation days a year. Households can also save an estimated 9,200 litres of water per year, resulting in a significant impact on water consumption and reductions in water use in most cases.

But in order to capitalise on these water or energy savings, there are several factors to consider when purchasing or upgrading a dishwasher:

  • Technology which maximises efficiency and ensures environmentally friendly rinsing for brilliant results.
  • A dishwasher which is quiet, efficient and has a low electricity consumption.
  • For households with children or allergies, it is crucial to look at a dishwasher that allows for increased temperature washing options.
  • Options for washing half loads without wasting electricity and water.
  • The amount of water used per wash.
  • Speed and duration of the wash – consider looking at something with VarioSpeed Plus, which allows you to wash dishes faster with a reduced rinsing time without compromising the cleaning quality.
  • An onboard machine-care option that removes grease and limescale from the dishwasher with standard machine-care detergent.
  • Drying options that provide extra heat while the machine is in the drying cycle.
  • Consider options that prevent glass corrosion over time.

Saving water in South Africa requires everybody to play their part. With the right appliances in your home and office, reducing water consumption becomes far more effective than ever before.

But while water-saving technology can a have an impact on water consumption, we as consumers also need to become aware of all the factors that affect our usage and how we can fine-tune these factors to create the highest water-saving levels possible.

Enrico Hoffmann is the CEO of BSH Home Appliances, South Africa