South Africa is facing the worst drought we’ve seen in over 40 years. In fact, things are so problematic, in the Western Cape, residents are being asked to think twice before flushing the toilet. To put an even darker perspective to our situation, according to Live Science, you can survive about three weeks without food, but only about three days without water.
However, the drought has breathed fresh air into our Ubuntu spirit, and across South Africa, people are joining forces to preserve water. We’ve done some digging and found a couple of water saving projects and initiatives to take note of.
Know Your Water
A group of Stellenbosch Postgrad students created a project called, Know Your Water. Their aim is to collect samples and do as much research as possible to gain a better understanding of underground water and how we use it. They will then build a model to predict rainfall usages and, ultimately, optimise the way we use our sustainable groundwater resources.
Currently, these students are requesting the aid of their fellow South Africans by either donating money to the project or by collecting groundwater samples and post it to them so they can continue this project.
According to research, two-thirds of all our fresh water are used by agricultural producers, and the water demand is believed to rise by 50% by 2030. This means that water scarcity is a likely future scenario for billions of people. But, Nestlé is not sitting by idly. They are focussing on two main water sustainability projects: Eco-school and decreasing their own water usage.
Eco-school is a project that works closely with communities and schools in rural and low-income areas across SA to assist and support them on how to use water for gardening and healthy living wisely.
Nestlé has also reported, in 2012, that they have halved their water usage at their Mossel Bay factory. They plan to continue this drive to conserve water, and, ultimately, make the factory a zero-water intake factory.
Sunlight also joined the fight against water waste by installing 250 push taps in Tembisa. According to them, 37% of our clean drinking water is lost through leaking, dripping taps and ageing infrastructure. The taps they installed replaced the leaking taps, hence, saving water and reducing water utility bills. In addition, Sunlight also initiated a door-to-door campaign that educates residence on water conservation.
For Love of Water (FLOW) is a non-profit organisation that challenges companies, individuals and CEOs to commit to a water-resilient future. They make use of different media channels to spread water awareness; they provide all South African citizens with the opportunity to join the fight on water waste and conservation; and they bring people together through campaigns, workshops and conferences.
For more on how you can do your part to save water, read our ten water wise tips.