08/02/2018 13:01 SAST | Updated 08/02/2018 13:01 SAST

'Air To Water' – Capetonians Search Online For #DayZero Fix

"JoJo tanks" are the item most searched for.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Water-storage tanks await distribution at the Jojo water-tank factory in Worcester, South Africa.

The phrase "air to water" is the third-most searched-for term by Capetonians, according to data from shopping price comparison site PriceCheck.

The website collated data on what Mother City residents are searching for most online as Day Zero approaches.

Here are some highlights:

  • Searches for bottled water have skyrocketed – up 577 percent since December.
  • JoJo tanks are the most searched-for item across the site.
  • Searches for water tanks, in general, are up 262 percent.
  • There's been an increase in demand for versatile water-collection tanks, with searches up more than 100 percent since December.
  • PriceCheck has also seen a sharp spike in searches for 12V pumps (more than 1,000 percent), – which are vital for pumping water out of storage tanks and into the household plumbing.

Despite the severity of the crisis, it seems that people are keen to keep their gardens looking good – artificial grass is among the five most searched-for products on the site.

Too many Capetonians have made the change to water-conscious living too late.

While it would be tempting for suppliers to push up prices, PriceCheck CEO Kevin Tucker says there hasn't been any abnormal movement in this regard. He does, however, note that "prices of specialised water-saving products and devices are on the rise".

According to Tucker, the high demand for these water-related products illustrates how important it is that people in other parts of South Africa learn lessons from Cape Town, and take water saving seriously.

"Too many Capetonians have made the change to water-conscious living too late," he said.

He pointed out that consumers making small changes could go a long way to helping other cities avoid their own Day-Zero scenarios.

Buying things like hand sanitiser, dry shampoo, and wet wipes all mean that less water needs to be used. Additionally, he suggests, people should "use grey water wherever possible and try to keep those taps off unless absolutely necessary".

Those preparing themselves for Day Zero should, meanwhile, stock up on some basic provisions.