Today is the start of World Water Week , so it was very fitting that the residents of Cape Town were woken up to the sound of some much-needed rain this morning. This year, the UN’s theme for World Water Day is ‘Water and Urbanisation’. Demands on water in cities are increasing as 5 million city residents are joining the urban population in the developing world each month. 493 million people in cities share their sanitation facilities and 827.6 million people live in informal settlements, usually lacking adequate drinking water and sanitation facilities. Word Water Week aims to raise awareness about water as one of our most precious resources.
South Africa is a water stressed country and our clean water supply is being threatened with acid mine drainage, drought and pollution. Reports that SA is heading towards a water crisis should make us think about how we value water. Those of us lucky enough to have piped water to our homes are flushing clean water down the drain every day through flushing the toilet, brushing our teeth, doing the dishes etc.
There is a clear consensus that there will be a fresh water supply demand gap both globally and in South Africa. Recognition that this impacts us all is an opportunity to engage in collective behaviour change that is respectful of water as a source of life, mindful of water usage and prioritises water conservation. In order to take action, we need to live and act ‘for love of water’. Click here to make your pledge to respect and save water
What can you do to save water?
Things you can do today
- Check out this handy water calculator to work out how much water you are using.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
- Shower instead of bathing
- Put a tupperware to catch the water you use in your basin and sink to water the garden or flush your toilet.
- Catch the water from the tap while you wait for it to get hot and use it to water the garden.
- Only water your garden in the morning or evening to prevent evaporation.
- Avoid buying bottled water – download our handy fact sheet showing the impacts of bottled water
For more water saving tips check out the FLOW website
Long -term water saving ideas
- Buy low flow devices for your taps and showerheads here
- If the phrase “ if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” fills you with horror, investing in a system to use rain water to flush your toilet may be the perfect option for you. Check out this website for great water saving devices and systems:
- Install a grey water system. This will allow you to reuse the water from your bathroom and kitchen. It looks like a small box and costs around R3000 and will filter your used water and pump it directly to your garden:
- Buy a rain water tank to collect water for watering your garden
- Plant indigenous and water-wise plants in your garden to save on watering
Water in SA – we have a crisis looming.. read these recent news reports
There was such a severe drought in Beaufort West last year that the boarding school children were sent home early and tourists were asked to bring in bottled water. There is now a race to launch SA’s first sewage-to-water plant. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Beaufort-West-rations-its-water-20101124 and http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/life-without-water-1.999453
SA’s water time bomb: The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa), the second-largest trade union group in the country, warned that the government was neglecting the management of clean water, including scores of overflowing sewage treatment works that should be placed in “intensive care”. http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/sa-s-water-time-bomb-1.682399
Mossel Bay water supply crisis – the local dam will be empty by January due to worst drought in 150 years and yet PetroSA uses 15million litres per day! Plans to build a desalination plant are underway.
Project 90 calls on Government to urgently strengthen SA’s water infrastructure and urges us all to put a far greater value on this invaluable and limited resource.