Water saving solutions are important, even when we’re experiencing regular rainfall. Drought conditions across the country have been awful to contend with, as Cape Town’s severe drought continues, although Day Zero has been pushed to 2019. That’s no reason to become complacent, however, as our country is a typically water-scarce region. What we can learn from the Cape Town water crisis, however, is that we are all at risk of having to face Day Zero. Let’s consider how the rest of South Africa looks right now:
- Gauteng – although many of this province’s dams are at capacity, level 1 water restrictions are still in place. This is a really good way of operating, because it helps everyone to stop wasting water, and remain mindful of water saving techniques.
- Eastern Cape – a big focus has been placed on the Western Cape water crisis, but the Eastern Cape is facing a similarly alarming situation. In early March 2018, the average water level of the Nelson Mandela Bay’s dams was at 26%. Notably, the Kouga Dam – is at a dangerously low level.
- Northern Cape – this province is also battling extreme drought conditions and is one of three provinces that have been declared provincial disaster areas – the others being the Western and Eastern Cape.
- KwaZulu-Natal – this province’s typical rainy season is over. Some of KZN’s dam are overflowing, while others are at much lower levels than needed to maintain supply across the province. Water restrictions have, just recently, been lifted.
- Mpumalanga – although this province’s dams average a water level of above 70%, and recent rains have led to an improvement in dam levels, this province cannot get complacent about water saving. Winter is a typically dry season in Mpumalanga and saving water must remain a priority.
- Free State – dam levels have shown some improvement here, but citizens must continue to save water. Dam levels are, on average, at 60% capacity, which means that saving water now, will help in the future.
- Limpopo – the Waterberg District Municipality in Limpopo is scarily close to its own Day Zero, and water restrictions are in place.
- North West – this province regularly battles with water supply, and although it has experienced some rainfall, conserving water must remain a priority.
What’s the lesson here? Saving water shouldn’t be seasonal. It should be a way of life for every South African. Challenge your family, friends, and colleagues to use water more wisely. The more we invest in water saving today, the more water we’ll have for tomorrow.