Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 25 Aug 2011
It’s not only businesses and public entities that should assume the responsibility of saving water, but homeowners can play a major role as well.
CEO of car rental company Avis, Wayne Duvenage, did not mince his words at the Sustainable Water Resource Conference and Exhibition; attended by leading water experts and business people.
Recycling water for reuse in buildings was the experts’ principal recommendation. Homeowners are also advised to go for recycling technologies.
Avis saved 75-million litres of water in 2010 in its major centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Harvesting rainwater is a focus of Avis’ recycling efforts. “You know how much it rains in Cape Town, so it’s nice to switch off municipal water and use rainwater,” said Duvenage.
South Africa is water-stressed, experts at the conference revealed. Reports have pointed out that the country runs the risk of facing critical shortages by 2020.
“South Africa is stressed both in the quantity and quantity of water that we have,” Duvenage said.
Alison Groves, a sustainability consultant at WSP Green by Design, said: “In South Africa we need to get beyond the idea that water is always going to be available.”
New solutions are needed to sustain potable water availability, Groves added.
Banking group Absa’s headquarters in downtown Johannesburg have been fitted with recycling and rainwater harvesting technology that allows it to save at least 43 000 litres of water every day.
Retailer Woolworths’ distribution centre in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, is another facility with a large grey water reclamation system. Groves pointed out that the centre has “irrigation ensured for 10 months per year without using potable water”.
The grey water technology of Cape Town-based Water Rhapsody, a specialist water conservation company, has proven its efficiency in recent years.
Its founder Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor said that water recycled and harvested through its system is suitable for irrigation, toilet flushing, cleaning and washing.
Homes can reduce consumption from 280 litres to “as little as 100 litres per day” and save up to 90% of their municipal water bill by using the system.
“But it’s done in such a way that you don’t change your lifestyle. You just take control of your own supply,” said Westgarth-Taylor.
Water Rhapsody won the WWF Green Trust award in 1998 for product innovation. It’s helped the University of Cape Town reduce potable water consumption by over 90%.
The late Kader Asmal, former Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, told Water Rhapsody, in a 2010 letter to the company, that its water recycling system helped nourish grass and shrubs in the garden of his Cape Town home.
By Bongani Nkosi
Edited by Admin