Smart Tips For World Water Day 2024

World Water Day is on 22 March and we offer some smart ways to play your part in helping our country preserve this precious resource.






Smart ways to save water in all areas of your life

South Africa faces ongoing challenges of managing its water resources responsibly, with people constantly reminded to do all they can to save water in their daily lives. South Africa is classified as a water-scarce country, with an average rainfall of about 40% less than the global average. Efforts to improve water conservation are therefore critical in addressing this challenge.


With World Water Day on 22 March, here are smart ways to play your part in helping our country preserve this precious resource.


At home and in your garden

The effects of climate change are already being felt around the country, with recent spells of extreme heat being attributed to El Niño. This, coupled with predictions by ESI Africa that we are approaching physical water scarcity in 2025 and a 17% water deficit within five years, means that waterwise features in the home have become a necessity, rather than a nice-to-have, says Bradd Bendall, CEO (interim) of BetterBond.

“We learned many lessons from Day Zero in 2018, where Cape Town almost ran out of water following years of drought conditions. Many homeowneers have taken action to combine a host of green features in their lifestyle to cut back on their water consumption. A common feature to see in homes and gardens today is rainwater harvesting and storage tanks and boreholes for groundwater, and while they may not necessarily add value to the price of a home, prospective buyers will show positive interest in one that has its own irrigation options and a thriving garden all year round,” says Bendall.

There are many options available to ensure a waterwise garden. Artiticial lawns require zero maintenance and offer the homeowner a green lawn throughout the year. However, if you want grass, consider a wellpoint or borehole for irrigation. Opt for drought-tolerant plants that require little water, such as aloes and spekboom, and think carefully about the way you landscape your garden, suggests Bendall.

“By planting seasonal plants, shrubs and trees according to their water requirements you can reduce their water consumption in the garden and by using permeable materials as opposed to concrete, this allows water to seep through so that those areas require less frequent watering. Also, by adding mulch to the soil you can reduce evaporation by up to 70%.” Bendall also advises directing bath, shower and washing machine water into a holding tank - this greywater can be used to water the garden.

You should also regularly check your home for leaks in taps, toilets, and pipes, and repair any leaks promptly - even a small leak can waste a significant amount of water over time. And, installing water-efficient fixtures such as low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets will reduce water usage without compromising on performance. Water-efficient appliances like dishwashers and washing machines with a good energy efficiency rating will also help your household use less water compared to older models.







When you go out for dinner

Saving water should be a priority at all times, even when going out for a meal. If you prefer your beverages without ice, or if you don't need a large amount of ice, let the waiter know when placing your order. This reduces the amount of water used to produce ice cubes and while it might not seem like a large amount at the time - it all adds up. When selecting dishes from the menu, consider opting for options that require less water-intensive ingredients or preparation methods. For example, choosing plant-based dishes over meat dishes can help reduce water usage.


At work

Saving water in the workplace is essential for both environmental sustainability and cost efficiency. Companies should look at installing water-efficient taps, toilets, and urinals in the bathrooms and encourage responsible water use by displaying signs or posters in restrooms and kitchen areas, reminding employees to turn taps off after use, report leaks promptly, and use water efficiently.

Incorporate water conservation goals and initiatives into your workplace's sustainability efforts. Recognise and reward employees and colleagues who contribute to water-saving efforts and encourage collaboration on sustainability initiatives. And, if your workplace has outdoor landscaping, use drought-resistant plants and install a drip irrigation system to minimise water waste.


In your area, and beyond

Spread awareness about the importance of water conservation among family, friends, and community members, to encourage others to adopt water-saving practices in their daily lives. Get involved in local water conservation projects such as river cleanups and tree planting initiatives. In the lead up to World Water Day, consider taking part in a fun virtual race to raise funds to provide clean, safe water to villagers in SA.

Relate, a not-for-profit social enterprise that raises funds for various charitable causes, is holding a Virtual Walk/Run 6km event this week, where each entry will gift one person clean running water for life. Entrants can walk or run anywhere, anytime - even on a treadmill, during the week of World Water Day, says Relate Founder, Lauren Gillis.

“Across SA, women in villages with no access to water walk approximately 6 km every day to collect water from open sources for their families. This isn’t clean, running water, and it’s often contaminated. They then need to walk back with 20-25 litres of water on their heads. Horrifically, the women face a daily risk of being attacked while on their journey,” adds Gillis. Funds from the race will go towards providing the 4,000 residents of the Nomu Wa Huku Village in Mpumalanga with a sustainable solar water system that will provide clean running water to taps throughout the village.

By participating in these activities, you can help raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and contribute to creating a more sustainable future for our planet.







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