Water Wise Watch: November
This month at Water Wise
"Weather variability or climate change?"
Gauteng has been experiencing a slightly strange weather phenomenon this summer season. Gone are the days of the regular and predictable afternoon thunder showers that arrived in a frenzy and left just as quickly after a drenching downpour and lots of lightning and thunder. Climate change forecasters have predicted that South Africa is expected to experience an increase in extreme weather events, wetter wets, and drier drys. Our inconsistent weather lately, that of a day of severe storms and torrential rainfall, followed by days of no rain seems to indicate a pattern of weather variability not seen consistently in the past. Are we starting to experience the effects of climate change? Regardless, it is never too late to start being Water Wise!
Water Wise Tip of the Month:
With the sudden, extreme downpours we are experiencing lately, especially in Gauteng, it is a good idea to protect the soil from becoming compacted by strong, heavy rain drops. You can do this by covering it with a layer of organic mulch. Organic mulch such as dry leaves, bark chips, nut shells, and grass clippings will form a protective layer as well as add valuable nutrients into the soil as it decomposes.
Local Water Wise News (Click the headings in bold below to read each article)
Gauteng could be 'starved' of water - report
"It’s highly conceivable Gauteng could be “starved” of water because of drought and a “catastrophic” failure of ageing infrastructure."
Maintain a lawn or get artificial grass?
"There’s no better time than now to become more and more conscious about our impact on the planet, especially in our harsh South African climate."
100 data science interns to tackle Cape Town water shortages
"One hundred interns from South Africa’s first data science academy in Cape Town will tackle "real world problems" - the first, the city’s water shortages."
Low cost biological treatment solution for coal mine impacted water
"Effluents from the coal and coal mining industries can severely impact upon the quality of water supplies and affect all major industries across the value chain."
Using just bath and kitchen waste water, a Chennai man nurtures around 300 trees!
"India is not a water deficient country, but the amount of water that goes wasted or untreated every day, the country has a bleak future ahead in the cards."
Weather for October/November
During the last month there has been a drastic change in the expected El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase. The current predictions now indicate a high likelihood for a weak La Niña to develop during the early and mid-summer months (Nov-Dec-Jan and Dec-Jan-Feb). This, supported by the regional forecasts, indicates that the summer rainfall areas (north-eastern parts of South Africa) can expect above-normal rainfall during these periods. However regional forecasts as well as conditions over the Indian Ocean suggests that the late spring period (Oct-Nov-Dec) may receive below-normal rainfall in parts of the summer rainfall areas.
Temperatures mimic the rainfall outlook, with warmer temperatures expected across the country during late spring, but some areas across the interior of the country are expected to be cooler during early and late summer, likely connected to increased rainfall conditions.
It is important to note that even though above-normal rainfall is predicted over the south-western parts of the country, it is not expected to be significant and the current drought conditions in the area are expected to deteriorate further during the summer months.