South Africans have a lot to be thankful for on International World Water Day.
The water restrictions in Gauteng have been lifted, but the situation in Cape Town remains dire. At least the most recent drought can be viewed as the wake-up call South African needed to finally take water saving seriously.
Although the situation has improved, there’s still work to be done.
The WWF and Boston Consulting Group recently teamed up with international leaders in scenario planning to explore South Africa’s water future. The findings of these report are shocking, but will go a long way towards helping government, manufacturers and individuals to tackle this problem.
The resulting report is called “Scenarios for the Future of Water in South Africa” and we highly recommend you work through it if you have the time.
The highlights include the possible realities of water availability in 2030, and if things keep going the way they currently are, South Africa is expected to face a water deficit of 17%.
The major water users in South Africa are agriculture and the municipal and industrial sector. Agriculture uses 63%, while the industrial sector uses 11% of water supply. The remaining 26% goes towards gardening, toilets and personal hygiene.
As water is a shared resource, everyone is at risk, which is why we include our top 5 water saving tips.
- Check for leaky pipes or faucets in and around the home. Replacement parts are easy to come by and dirt cheap. In addition to physically checking every tap/pipe/outlet, keep an eye on the water meter before you leave the house for a few hours. With nobody at home, the meter shouldn’t move. If it reads higher than it was, there’s a good chance there’s a leak somewhere.
- Put a 5cm layer of sand or pebbles in the toilet tank. It seems insignificant, but it could save a few litres per day.
- A toilet leak can waste litres of water per day. The easiest way to check for a leak is to add a small amount of food colouring to the tank to see if it seeps through to the bowl.
- Only wash the clothes and dishes when the washer is full. Washing the dishes after each and every meal wastes an awful lot of water.
- Water-saving shower heads are inexpensive and easy to install.