Water Wise Watch: April
In this issue:
Water Wise Tip of the Month from Leslie Hoy
“Reduce your water and electricity footprint simultaneously. Turn lights off when not in the room. Only use the geyser when needed. Only fill the kettle with enough water as needed.”
This month with Water Wise - Brought to you by Rand Water and Water Wise
We celebrate Earth Day on 22 April 2017!
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the US, where over 20 million Americans joined the movement to build a healthy and sustainable environment. Since then, the Earth Day Network’s mission has been to mobilize the modern environmental movement and to encourage people around the world to inspire solutions to current environmental issues.
Nowadays, Earth Day is the largest civic observance in the world, with over 1 billion participants in this event. The Earth Day Network promotes the following actions:
- Create your own personal ‘green action’ on the day.
- Plant a tree, or donate to an organization that plants trees in needy areas.
- Reduce your carbon and water footprint by taking the Ecological Footprint Quiz.
- Eat less red meat. Remember, the meat industry generates, on average, almost one fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
- Stop using disposable plastics, as they have devastating impacts on the environment.
This year, the Earth Day campaign focuses on ‘Environmental and Climate Literacy’. People are encouraged to learn more about the effects of climate change on the environment, and overall threats to the planet. Visit the Earth Day Network website by clicking on the image below to find out how you can get involved.
Water Wise Events - March 2017
Water Wise celebrated Water Month at Rand Water with something new - industrial theatre! The team visited all Rand Water sites with an entertaining and interactive theatre production that compared a water saving family to a family that wastes water. Manzini, our friendly water conservation expert, educated the water-wasting Wonga family on how best to save water in the garden and home by visiting the Water Wise Masenya family. The image to the left shows the team entertaining the EMS-Nursery staff. A lot of learning, as well as fun, was had by all!
Drought FAQs www.droughtsa.org.za/faq.html:
- A drought is defined as a period of below average rainfall. The severity of a drought is determined by how far below average the rainfall is, for how long the dry period occurs, and to what extent available waterreaches the groundwater.
- An agricultural drought occurs when there is not enough moisture to support average crop production and grass production.
- A hydrological drought occurs when there is reduced stream flows and water reserves in aquifers, lakes, and reservoirs fall below a statistical average.
- A meteorological drought occurs after a prolonged period of below average rainfall (usually less than 70%), creating natural shortages of available water.
- South Africa has a unique topography that creates a variability in climate in both space and time.
- South Africa also has one of the most variable river flow regimes in the world.
South African Water Restrictions
The Drought SA portal was developed to provide a gateway to managing water scarcity in times of drought. The website is managed by the Water Research Commission (WRC). Information on other provinces can be found on the website. To view water restrictions in various provinces across the country, click on the image below.
Current dam capacities*:
Vaal Barrage Dam:
*at time of print 23-03-2017
Did you know?
- Agriculture uses 63% of water‚ households 26% and industry 11%.
- 35% of household water is used on gardens‚ 29% to flush toilets and 13% to do laundry.
Ref: WWF (2017)
Water in the News
Johannesburg bans summer watering‚ with no clear end date:
“Despite the summer rains that filled up Gauteng dams‚ Nico de Jager‚ MMC for the Environment and Infrastructure Services Department‚ said on Tuesday that the city would only partially lift...”
Joburg, Ekurhuleni partially lift water restrictions:
"The Cities of Joburg (CoJ) and Ekurhuleni have decided only to partially lift water restrictions following a decision by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to officially lift waterrestrictions on Tuesday."
New aquaponics facilities to feed primary schools:
"A new aquaponics facility has been launched at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth by the Mondelez International Foundation, Mondelez South Africa, and INMED Partnership for Children."
Cape Town only has about 100 days of water left:
"Earlier this month, Cape Town was declared a disaster area as the water supply dwindled due to a drought across the Western Cape province."