"This drought has required us to look across our business to see where we could reduce water consumption but also in the investment required to use water more efficiently in the long term. The reality is that we live in a water scarce country. Measures we put in place now will remain in place even once the drought eases," explains Faragher-Thomas.He explains that throughout the 30 Western Cape clubs, there has been a water reduction of more than 29%. The club plans to reduce their water consumption even further in the upcoming months.
"We know our showers use 5 to 6l per minute with the low flow shower heads. Ordinary home shower heads can use in excess of 15l per minute. Added to that, there is ‘’peer pressure’’ with some members openly calling out members who dare take showers longer than 2 minutes," adds the MD.In addition to the low flow shower heads, the Virgin Active clubs also use timers, a pressure reduction system as well as waterless urinals. Faragher-Thomas and his team aim to use less than 5l per minute in their shower systems. "We have introduced buckets, giving members the option to capture their shower water. This water is then placed in the toilets to be used for flushing. We are applying for legal alternative water supply for our clubs and planning the logistics around transporting water to our clubs and ensuring that clubs have at least two days water stored onsite." Other local gyms, such as Planet Fitness, have also confirmed their water saving measures.
"With the Cape Town unique water situation we do as a business need to adhere to the policies and do what we can to reduce the water usage and so during certain times, showers are closed and inaccessible," explains Planet Fitness's Carmen Spence.