Water Wise Watch: October 2019
This month at Water Wise
Water Wise Events
Arbor month celebration
September is National Arbor month, where everyone in the country is encouraged to plant at least one tree per person. It is very important that we plant trees, because they provide essential benefits to us and to the environment as a whole.
Every year, Water Wise celebrates Arbor month by holding awareness campaigns and planting of trees in various communities and schools in Gauteng. In September, Water Wise celebrated Arbor month with three primary schools (Thomas Nhlapo Primary School, Tshebedisano Primary School and Lawley Primary School) and one community group in Katlehong (Manol Co-op).
Image above: Lawley Primary School grade 4 learners being taught about Arbor month and the importance of trees.
Water Wise events in October
In October, Water Wise will be participating for the first time in the biggest flower show in Gauteng. The Johannesburg International Flower Show at Waterfall City in Midrand will be held from 30th October to 3rd November 2019. Water Wise will be showcasing educational gardens that will educate home owners and landscapers on how they can design gardens incorporating Water Wise principles such as hydro-zoning of plants (grouping of plants according to their watering needs). For more click here.
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Department of Water and Sanitation calls for water users in Gauteng to use water wisely
The Department of Water and Sanitation is calling on water consumers in Gauteng to significantly cut back on their water usage due to a planned shutdown of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) tunnel system for purposes of inspection and maintenance. The shutdown, which has been gazetted and took effect on 13 September 2019, will last for two (2) months, starting from 01 October until 30 November 2019. No water transfers to the Vaal River System will be possible over this period as the tunnel will be drained for these inspections and maintenance work to be done.
The LHWP augments the water resources in the Vaal River System that provides water to Rand Water, Sasol, Eskom and a large number of smaller users. During the inspection and maintenance work, water consumers and especially the farming community will be affected. This therefore necessitates that water users heed the call to use water with the utmost sensitivity to the limited water supply.
It is the duty of every water user to be mindful of our country's depleting dam levels and to adapt their water use accordingly. If individual water users could do their part in saving water an even great impact could be made on keeping the dam levels stable.
Tips on being water wise in the house
- Taking a five-minute shower a day, instead of a bath, will use a third of the water used bathing in a bath tub, saving up to 400 litres a week. Showering can use up to 20 litres of water per minute.
- If you prefer to bath, do not fill up the bath tub. Taking a bath can use between 80 and 150 litres of water per bath
- Use low-flow shower-heads, dual-flush toilet mechanisms and water-efficient washing machines.
- Use “grey water” — used water from baths, washing machines and other safe sources to flush your toilet.
- Use a bucket rather than a hose to wash your car. If you have to use a hose, use a sprayer that can be turned off in between spraying the car. Using a garden hose could use as much as 30 litres of water per minute.
Tips to be Water Wise at work place and business:
- Factories should take care of how they discharge mercury and other heavy metals into waste water.
- Reducing the toilet flush volume alone can save 20% of total water consumption. This can be done by putting a 2-litre cold drink bottle, filled with water and a little sand to add weight, into the cistern.
- Fix a leaking toilet. Otherwise it can waste up to 100 000 litres of water in one year.
- Do not pour paint and chemicals down the drain.
- .Farmers must ensure that they keep toxic insecticides away from water sources and streams.
Tips on garden/landscape maintenance
- Always water your plants during the early morning hours or in the evening, when temperatures are cooler. Between 10:00 and 15:00 one can lose up to 90% of water to evaporation.
- Group plants according to their water needs and mulch around them.
- Water gardens less frequently.
- Rain water can also be stored in tanks for watering gardens.
- Use “grey water” — used water from baths, washing machines and other safe sources — to water your garden.
World Animal Day
World Animal Day was established in 1931 as a way to highlight the plight of endangered species. This day has since evolved into a day to honor all the animals of the world!
There are several ways that you can get involved on World Animal Day:
1) Educate people on the many unfortunate plights some animal suffer through – for example, puppy mills, illegal dog-fighting, the cruel and illegal wildlife trade, animals raised for food on factory farms, animals suffering in animal-testing labs, circuses, and badly-managed zoos.
2) Tweet or write on your Facebook wall or put up a post on any social media site, informing people of the day and the meaning behind WAD.
3) Donate to a local animal charity or shelter. Local shelters are always in need of food, cat litter, and other supplies.
4) Volunteer at your local shelter, animal-welfare/animal-rights related organisations, or related advocacy groups.
5) Go meat-free, so that no animals are harmed in the making of your meal. You can start with Meat Free Monday
6) Stop to help a stray in need. You can help by providing a meal for the animal, taking it to a vet for to check for any illnesses or injuries, or fostering the animal temporarily at home. Make you you inform your local SPCA or AACL about the animal, in case the owner is looking for it. With lots of tender, loving care – you will be surprised at how the dog or cat will recover, and if you can’t keep a pet at home you can try get it to people who can help. such as the SPCA and Woodrock Animal Rescue.
7) Make your home/school/office more animal friendly.
8) Surprise your own favorite animal companion with an unexpected treat and carve out some extra time during the day to enjoy their company.
9) Expand your own knowledge and broaden your own horizons by picking up a book by an animal expert like Dr Jane Goodall, or find a book that encourages kindness towards animals and share it with young children.
You can read more here.
There are so many things you can do for animals. Don’t be limited by the list above – you can do these wonderful things everyday, not just today!
Happy celebrating, everyone!
Environmental Days and Public Holidays
Water and environmental news
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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.