Water Wise Watch: Mar 2019

This month at Water Wise

March is the month of water!
This month we celebrate water, nationally and internationally, with National Water Week from 17-23 March, and World Water Day on 22 March. National Water Week 2019 will be driven by the theme 'Water is Life - 20 Years of Water Delivery for Social and Economic Development". The theme for World Water Day 2019 is 'Leaving no one behind' and refers to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which states that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.

All over the world, people are experiencing water stress. In fact, more than 2 billion people worldwide still live without clean, accessible water today. It is an international human right to have access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation. This is an important issue to highlight, especially as we celebrate Human Right's Day on 21 March!

The water situation in South Africa is already critical. The Institute for Security Studies indicates that water demand in South Africa will exceed supply by 10% by 2035, if good governance is adhered to. If planned water schemes and other urgent matters are not addressed, this gap could increase to 21%. However, we need to be aware of the impact future technologies such as groundwater extraction and new water infrastructure can have on our natural water supply. South Africa is already over-using its renewable water resources. Research shows that only a third of South Africa's rivers are in a good condition, while 60% of them are currently over-exploited. In addition, it is expected that climate change will cause a decline in average precipitation across the country, increasing the risk of severe droughts.

The key is to look for sustainable, low impact, environmentally-friendly solutions to the country's water crisis. The focus should be on water conservation and water demand reduction measures, and this is where you come in: South Africans must use water more efficiently. There are many simple, easy-to-implement ways to be Water Wise. Have a look at some of the suggestions below. Water is essential for life to survive. A country can't run without water and no living organism can survive without water. Water is a crucial element for our social, economic, and environmental survival. Let's all be Water Wise!

World Water Day 2019 Fact Sheet
A Delicate Balance: Water Scarcity in South Africa

Water Wise Events

Lifestyle Water Wise 2019 Winners

'Lifestyle College students display how to capitalise on small spaced gardens’

Since 1997, the Lifestyle Garden College has afforded their landscape designer students an opportunity to showcase their talent by designing gardens covering recent, innovative gardening concepts. This year, students were tasked to transform small outdoor spaces that were previously unused into green entertainment areas also known as ‘garden-tainment’. A total of seven gardens with enticing themes such as Çlassique magnifigue’, ‘A la Carte Alfresco’, ‘Soup and salad’ and ‘Bouquet’ were created by the students. The gardens ranged from intimate private gardens to rooftop apartment gardens with a perfect city skyline view. The optimum use of small space was clearly displayed in each garden, along with a touch of uniqueness, elegance, vibrant and earthy elements.

Over the years, Rand Water has taken the initiative to encourage Lifestyle students to include Water Wise principles into their garden designs. A Water Wise garden uses minimum to very low water as a result of effectively grouping or hydrozoning plants according to their water needs. Hydrozoning can be categorized as high water zone, moderate water zone, low water zone and no water zone. Other Water Wise principles include the use of mulch (soil cover that helps store moisture in the soil longer), indigenous and preferable endemic indigenous plants (well adapted to native country’s climate) permeable paving (permits penetration/absorption of water, reduces water run-off) and collection of rainwater, just to name a few.

Students were challenged to integrate these principles into their gardens that were assessed and adjudicated by Rand Water. From the results, it was deduced that the most Water Wise garden is ‘Bouquet (Town Square)’, because most of the Water Wise principles were prominent and used within the garden. Overall, the garden portrayed a festival and an urban atmosphere which was highlighted by the correct use of garden accessories and a variety of plants. The show gardens are on display 21 February to 31 May 2019.

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







Earth Hour is an annual global event, where people across the world pledge to conserve and protect our environment by turning off the lights for one hour. This year, Earth Hour will be celebrated on 30 March between 20:30 and 21:30. Do your bit for our world by turning off the lights. Remember, saving electricity also saves water!

Environmental Days and Public Holidays 

03 March:           World Wildlife Day
17-23 March:      National Water Week
21 March:            Human Right's Day
22 March:           World Water Day
30 March:            Earth Hour

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

World seeing 'catastrophic collapse' of insects

"Nearly half of all insect species worldwide are in rapid decline and a third could disappear altogether, according to a study warning of dire consequences for crop pollination and natural food chains."

While electricity hogs headlines, South Africa’s water situation is another unfolding crisis

"South Africans may have enough on their plates at the moment in terms of the ongoing inability of Eskom to fulfil the country’s daily energy needs. But experts warn that the country’s water situation is rapidly..."

International cleanup reveals SA’s biggest beach pollutants

"The results of the 2018 International Coastal Clean-up, which took place on Saturday, 15 September 2018, have just been released. For more than two decades, thousands of South African volunteers have been joining the rest of the world..."

Could the world's oceans get bluer? Scientists say they will and that's bad news

"According to researchers from the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the oceans of the planet will be more vividly coloured in the none too distant future."


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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