Water cuts

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

A few months ago we Capetonians experienced electricity cuts that left selected households in the dark whenever Eskom decided it was time to be switched off.

Well, how would we react to water cuts? Notwithstanding the occasional lack of water supply due to broken water pipes – which leave us like fish out of water – the reality is that with a future probability of dwindling water supplies and looming shortages, there is a real risk that we could find ourselves with Eskom-style cuts to our water supply.

Think this sounds a little far fetched? Not so. Take a look at what’s been happening in Pasadena, USA.  According to the Pasadena Municipal Code, property owners have to select one day of the week in which they may use sprinklers to irrigate; non-compliance carries a fine of up to $1000. And in Mumbai, residents staged a street protest due to continued water cuts. Their fresh drinking water is delivered by privately owned tankers, for which the price has rocketed 350%.

Think of how you would react to extended periods of no water supply. Hopefully not like the residents of a Colorado town who, according to recent reports, resorted to fighting over water. In a more serious incident a few years ago, several rioting villagers died in Shandong China when officials cut off their irrigation water.

If this all seems a little apocalyptic, consider what all the hype is about.  Is this bleak future inevitable; or can we accept ownership and take mitigating action?  It comes down to viewing water today – as the precious commodity it will become tomorrow.  Use it wisely; use it more than once; save it for a non-rainy day.

Grey water re-use and rainwater harvesting will soon become basic household necessities if we are to ensure anything close to the quantity of water availability that we are used to.

So don’t wait for the drought and the inevitable water restrictions that will leave your garden a thirsty brown.

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