It may seem strange that during a drought it is even more important than ever to install a rainwater harvesting system. Some would ask that if there is no rain then how does the tank fill up?
Look at the Eastern Cape, in the middle of a severe drought, January 2020 has seen the most rainfall since 1956 second only to the wettest recorded January in 1974. If you have a water tank it is nicely topped up by now and can last you for months to come, depending on your water needs.
For those that do not have a rainwater harvesting system, they are still facing heavy water restrictions as the rainwater is being soaked up into the dought dried soil. So, despite the heavy rainfall, the rainwater runoff has yet to reach the river-fed dams. Due to the ongoing drought, these dams are still below the water level so the pumps are unable to supply the town, putting a strain on the limited amount of water available in the main dams.
The harvested water in your tank can be used to provide relief to the main water supply
Toilets can be flushed with the rainwater, veggies, dishes & clothes can be washed and you can use the water for irrigation. With a water filter, the rainwater can be made safe to drink, add a water pump and the harvested & filtered water is available from your kitchen tap.
And it's not just the drought that is affecting the water supply...
The load-shedding has restricted the amount of time the reservoir pumps can run. As they require a high voltage there is no alternative power solution. This means that during load-shedding the pumps stop, and as the water pumps are old, turning them on and off increases the chance that they will suffer mechanical or electrical failure.