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why do we need to conserve water in south africa

Why Should We Save Water? Fresh water is a scarce resource in the Western Cape, as rainfall Pvaries from year to year. We depend on water to survive and our growing population places strain on our natural resources, especially water. P Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that our water is sustainable for future generations. A huge amount of freshwater is used to irrigate farmland for food production. It is essential for manufacturing, particularly in heavy industries like electricity generation and iron and steel production, which need large amounts of water for cooling, or as a power source. A reliable supply of fresh water is critical for all households too. Conserving water can also save energy. In order to pump the water from a central facility into your home, garden or office, energy is required to run the pumps. So saving water means using less energy which not only reduces your annual water bill, but also your carbon footprint. What we can do to save water and money At Home Take shorter showersPand turn off the shower while soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. Ensure that your washing machine and dishwasher are fully loaded before starting them. Cut down the amount of water flushed down the toilet. Put a two-litre plastic bottle full of water in the cistern of your toilet. This could save you up to 7 300 litres of water each year.

When washing dishes by hand, do not leave the water running for rinsing. And if you have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. Install a system to pump grey water (from the washing machine, basins, shower and bath) to the garden, most households will eliminate the need for any additional garden watering. In the Garden Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid over-watering some, while under-watering others. Put a covering layer around trees and plants. Covering will slow evaporation of moisture and will alsoPdiscourage weed growth. Only water your garden before 10:00 or after 16:00. Water your lawn long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly. Plant in the right season. For winter rainfall areas, this is in autumn and early winter so the plants have a chance to develop their root systems before the dry season. In summer rainfall areas, it is spring and early summer for the same reason. In the Industrial and Commercial Sector Define water requirements for your department, building or unit of production. Appoint a person to track water usage and identify strengths and weaknesses. Ensure that people are aware of points and times to report major water losses from leaking or damaged pipes and hoses.

Encourage staff to report leaking taps and toilets. Reduce leaks by turning taps off lightly and getting washers replaced when leaks are discovered. These simple changes can help you save up to 10% on your annual water bill, without drastically changing your lifestyle. Some more interesting and helpful information is available at: P( P(Water Wise, Rand Water)
21 May 2013 South Africa s plans for a water-secure future are in place, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, but will require all South Africans to play their part in conserving water. Briefing the media before her budget vote in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday, Molewa said South Africa was not running out of water as speculated in some media reports. Our strategic plans are sound and geared towards a sustainable future water security, but they require that each one of us make their small contribution at every turn to guarantee a water-secure future for generations to come. There were no immediate plans to introduce water restrictions to control the use and distribution of water resources, Molelwa said, but added that the situation was being monitored and that restrictions could be introduced if necessary. Water losses in South Africa were indeed serious. That s why we are calling on the nation to save water, the minister said, adding that South Africa was losing up to 36% of its drinking water through leaking pipes, dripping taps and illegal water usage.

The agricultural sector was also a big water user. A strategy to adapt, change and reduce the water usage in this sector was ready, Molewa said. According to the country s latest census, conducted in October 2011, the number of households access to piped (tap) water in South Africa rose from 84. 4% in 2001 to 91. 2% in 2011. Nearly half, or 46. 3%, of the country s households have tap water inside their homes (up from 32. 3% in 2001), according to census 2011, while 27. 1% have tap water inside their yards (down from 29%), 11. 7% have tap water on their community stand less than 200 metres from their homes (up from 10. 7%), and 6. 2% have to walk more than 200 metres to reach tap water on their community stand (down from 12. 4%). Molewa said the department was facing the twin challenge of reaching the rest of the population missing out on access to water, and that of repairing infrastructure problems. The department would focus on the functionality of municipal infrastructure and sustainable service delivery in 2013/14, because improving the skills bases in the water sector is vital to the success of our efforts and ensuring security of supply. During 2011/12, South Africa s water boards had reduced the debt of municipalities to R1. 3-billion.

The boards generated R10. 5-billion from water sales in 2011/12, paying their own operational costs and investing R2. 1-billion in infrastructure development. A further R3. 3-billion was now being invested. On infrastructure development, Molelwa said the Komati Water Augment Project, which provides water to Eskom s Duva and Matla power stations, had been finished, while the De Hoop Dam in Limpopo province was nearing completion, and significant progress had been made on construction of the Spring Grove Dam in KwaZulu-Natal. In North West province, the first phase of the R1. 2-billion Pilanesberg scheme was being implemented in partnership with the mines to provide a further 100 megalitres of water to local municipalities and mines. About 700 direct jobs were being created, while new mining developments would open up 6 000 indirect permanent jobs. In the Free State, Molewa said, R156-million would be spent on two new pipeline projects that would provide additional water to the Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu municipalities as well as the Mangaung (Bloemfontein) metro. In 2012/13, the department s Adopt-a-River project, which fights the pollution of rivers, led to 24 rivers being cleaned, creating 985 jobs for women in the process. Source:

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