Water Wise Watch: August 2019

This month at Water Wise

As we enter August, temperatures start rising, the sun rises earlier, and the end of winter is in sight. Even though the winter shades of russet veld grasses and fiery aloe flowers have a special beauty, the green buds and kaleidoscope of colours that appear with the start of Spring brings joy to all of us. Here at Water Wise we are looking forward to the opportunities that Spring brings, especially more time in the garden and the enjoyment of outdoor activities. We hope you enjoy this month's newsletter, as we showcase what we have been up to in July and what we can look forward to this month.

Water Wise Events

Garden World Spring Festival 2019 

Every year, from July to September, Garden World hosts their exciting Spring Festival. The festival allows landscapers the opportunity to showcase their landscaping and design talents. Landscapers are challenged to use the most innovative and unique ways to incorporate the latest garden trends in designing garden landscapes suitable for small outdoor spaces, as well as using a diversity of plants and natural hard landscaping products. The theme for this year's Festival is 'See my garden grow'. The idea is to encourage and inspire gardeners on a limited budget and with limited space to use their creativity to re-invent their outdoor spaces easily and economically.

As always, Water Wise was asked to present their popular award for the most Water Wise landscape design. This award encourages landscapers to incorporate Water Wise garden elements into their landscape designs. These elements include hydro-zoning, indigenous plants, mulch, low- or no-splash water features, permeable surfaces, water harvesting systems, container plants, and water channeling, amongst others.

This year, the award for the most Water Wise landscape design went to Sonita Young of 3rd Teacher Nature Scapes. Sonita was responsible for the design and construction of her landscaped garden 'Learning in the Lap of Nature'. Sonita's design incorporated a number of Water Wise design elements such as hydro-zoning, using indigenous plants and plants with Water Wise characteristics, adding mulch to the landscape, and utilising hard and soft hydro-zone landscaping. Have a look at some of the pictures of the award-winning design below. Well done Sonita!

For more on Garden World's Spring Festival, which runs until 1 September, click here















Image above: Meagan Donnelly from Water Wise, with the winners of the Water Wise award from 3rd Teacher Nature Scapes

Water Wise events in August

In August, you can look forward to the South African Nursery Association (SANA) annual trade fair on 14 August in Midrand, Gauteng, and 21 August in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. SANA trade fairs are an opportunity for growers and other members of the green industry to exhibit their products and services. This year, the Midrand trade fair can expect more than 125 exhibitors and around 1 000 visitors. Water Wise will be at the Midrand trade fair to answer all your questions on how to make your landscape or garden more Water Wise. If plants, gardening, and the green industry as a whole interests you, this is the place to be!

For more click here.

Click on the links below to access our social media pages for more on water and environmental news and issues









World Lion Day and World Elephant Day

World Lion Day is held on 10 August. Lions, which are one of Africa's most iconic species, have shown a population decrease of over 43% in 21 years and are now regionally extinct in 15 African countries. Lions have been declared 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This classification means that lions are considered threatened with extinction. Unfortunately, a loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict over livestock losses, hunting, and the increase in the commercial lion body part trade is responsible for the population decline of this charismatic animal. Activities such as lion cub 'petting', lion parks, and any situation where humans are allowed to interact with captive lions, have been found to contribute to the lion body part trade and canned lion hunting. Research has shown that between 6 000 - 8 000 lions are kept in captivity in South Africa, with less than 20 000 lions left in the wild. You can do your part to protect lions by not supporting any activity that exploits lions, and by not buying or consuming lion body parts.

World Elephant Day is held on 12 August. Elephants are another one of Africa's most recognisable species, and another animal that is on a dangerous slide towards extinction. It is also on the IUCN red list as vulnerable. In the 1930's, elephants numbered over 10 million across Africa. Today, there are only 415 000 elephants left on the continent, with over 70% of the population concentrated in countries such as Botswana and South Africa. The largest land mammal, elephant populations in Africa have declined with a loss of over 50% of their habit in just 40 years. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that thousands of elephants are killed annually for their ivory, which is in high demand across Asia. Other threats to elephants include hunting, habit loss, over-exploitation of body parts through local and international trade, and human-wildlife conflict over agricultural crop losses. To protect wild elephants and prevent the demand for captive elephant populations, always follow ethical tourism guidelines, never support places or activities that allow you to ride, touch, or interact with elephants, do not buy or consume any ivory products, and support elephant conservation.

For more information on the plight of lions and elephants, follow the links below:
Africa Geographic
African Wildlife Foundation
World Elephant Day
World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund - Magazine

Environmental Days and Public Holidays 

9 August:       National Women's Day
10 August:     World Lion Day

12 August:     World Elephant Day



Water and environmental news
(Click on the bold heading below to read the article)

Calculator to estimate daily water use
"With South Africa classified as a water-stressed country, owing to its receiving an average of about 492 mm/y of rainfall, water utility Rand Water’s environmental brand Water Wise’s water calculator provides users..."


Water-crisis conditions hold serious implications and challenges
''Integrated infrastructure delivery company AECOM senior engineer Hanine van Deventer stresses that when a severe multiyear drought, coupled with difficult water-management parameters...''


Flushing toilet with grey water may be damaging sanitation infrastructure
"This is according to a new paper in the Journal of Water Process Engineering by University of Cape Town. However, the researchers list five ways you can flush the toilets with grey water, without damaging infrastructure.
Water supply sufficient but users urged to use the resource wisely
"The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has assured South Africans that the country will not run out of water during the dry winter spell, unless consumers use water negligently."


Zwartkopjies weather

Our weather station is currently under maintenance and weather data is unavailable. We apologise for the inconvenience. In the interim, have a look at the weather forecast for South Africa, courtesy of the South African Weather Service, by clicking on the image below.  

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