Water Wise Watch: October
"Welcome to Summer"
It seems we have skipped spring and jumped straight into summer! The country has seen temperatures sky-rocket, with places like Upington hitting highs of 37°C. Johannesburg has been seeing highs of between 25°C and 27°C. We have had some rain in Gauteng, but unfortunately it is not enough, and forecasts predict heavy rains towards the end of the summer season only. This means we need to be extra careful of conserving our water, especially during the hot, dry period to come. Always be Water Wise!
Water Wise Tip of the Month:
As temperatures soar, and rainfall remains evasive, we need to look at ways of saving as much water in the home and garden as possible. This month, think about re-using greywater for watering your garden, washing down paving, and cleaning your car. Greywater can be used straight from the source, as long as there is no chance it contains any bacteria, and is not stored for longer than 24 hours. Only use greywater from bathrooms basins, showers, and baths.
Heavy rainfall predicted in late summer, says water dept:
"Although no heavy rains are expected at the beginning of the summer season, the South African Weather Services is predicting heavy showers towards the end of the period."
Have your say on domestic water, sanitation services:
"The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has gazetted the Draft National Norms and Standards for Domestic Water and Sanitation Services for public comments."
New gardening trend:
"Gone are the days of large English country or lush tropical gardens. Here is a new gardening trend...Gardening styles have to adapt to increasingly busy lifestyle and climate change."
Now you can click on a dam to see if it's safe to swim:
"To find out how clean or polluted your nearest dam is, click on an interactive map which reports on 105 dams in South Africa. This online tool was launched this week, hosted by the Water Research Council."
End of the Earth: the science behind Antarctica warming and its consequences:
"2017 has already seen record lows for Antarctic sea ice which acts as the earth's conditioner regulating the global temperature and offsetting warming and rising oceans."
Given the current strain on water resources in the south-western parts of the country and seemingly no significant rainfall activities during spring, it is recommended that the current drought
measures continue for the foreseeable future. Forecasts however do indicate that there is an increased chance for above-normal rainfall between spring and late spring (Oct-Nov-Dec) over the north-eastern parts of the country. Conditions over the Indian Ocean promote this forecast; however, there are indications that these conditions may start to moderate during late spring.
Current Dam capacities
*at time of print 22-09-2017
Water Wise Events
This month, Water Wise celebrates WeedBuster Week! This environmental celebration was initiated by the Department of Environmental Affairs, and is linked to various invasive plant control initiatives around the world. The aim of this campaign is to increase public awareness on the issue of invasive alien plants to promote community ownership of the problem and to encourage management and containment of invasive plants across the country. WeedBuster Week is usually celebrated in the second week of October every year. Invasive alien plants, which are non-native plants that spread and displace indigenous plants, cause billions of Rands of damage to South Africa's economy every year, and pose a threat to water security, biodiversity, the productive use of land, and the ecological functioning of natural ecosystems. Please visit the Invasive Species South Africa website for more.