Parts of South Africa have had bad drought for the past two years and our municipalities have finally woken up to the necessity for water restrictions. We saw some of the writing on the wall two years ago, and have now three large water tanks, but last month the valve that goes to our garden irrigation got stuck in the 'On' position while we were in Cape Town for 3 nights and we got back to a very large water bill. So we have started our own efforts to save water, beginning with catching our shower water in buckets which we use to flush the toilet or carry downstairs out to the garden. One day I tried to collect the rinse water from my washing machines but nothing big would fit in the basin under the pipes except small bowls from my kitchen and I got quite flustered trying to tip these into available buckets and there was a lot of water I didn't manage to get. Meanwhile, I have got a bucket system with a rope and a hook, to lower buckets over the balcony down to the garden. My husband has promised to apply his mind to organising the water with some kind of attachment to the pipes which can hang down to the garden and avoid the need for buckets. Meanwhile, we are getting quite a lot of arm exercise, as our kitchen and washing facilities are upstairs (built this way for the view over the lagoon). But we need to buy a few more buckets. One suggestion has been to buy a very large basin to stand in under the shower. That way we should be able to save all the shower water. One good thing: our plants are growing like mad, appreciating all the phosphates etc. that are in the washing machine's water.