Saving water in South Africa

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
October 2009

Around the world environmental groups, governments and individuals are driving awareness and a variety of initiatives to highlight the ever escalating fresh water scarcity.

'do you believe in always' courtesy of Wendy Cook ©2006 W.Cook

'do you believe in always' courtesy of Wendy Cook ©2006 W.Cook

  • Mexico is facing its worst drought in 7 decades. As part of a water saving campaign citizens have been told by President Felipe Calderon “The water is like your family, protect it!”
  • In Venezuela, because of low El Nino rainfall, President Hugo Chavez announced new water conservation methods including urging citizens to cutback on showering time.
  • A severe drought in the Southern Cape of South Africa has forced the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to appoint 50 municipal inspectors as peace officers to monitor and enforce adherence to the water restrictions.
  • Another severe drought in Guangdong, China has left over 110,000 people in the Fujian province short of drinking water, and Greenpeace campaign manager Edward Chan Yue-fai has urged Hong Kong to work towards sourcing other water supplies.
  • India too has been hit by severe drought threatening food supplies, especially rice, placing upward pressure on the price as shortages loom.

How can we as South Africans take action to counter the ever increasing threat of water scarcity? One practical way is to make use of grey water and rainwater harvesting. By re-using our grey water in a safe way we can reduce our water consumption, and as a bonus make significant inroads into our monthly water bills. Couple this with a simple rainwater tank and savings of up to 90% can be achieved.

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