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Water Wise Watch - January 2020


Logo_Jan 2020 NewThis month at Water Wise

happy new year 2New Years greeting all round! We hope everyone had a safe and joyful festive season filled with happy memories. As we are entering into the new year, Water Wise would love to wish everyone a successful, prosperous year ahead. May all your dreams be fulfilled, may your approach to life be filled with positivity and courage, may our work-places and homes be filled with love and harmony, may we also strive to build healthy relationships, and lastly may we all become more environmentally responsible and water wise. Happy New Year from the Water Wise team, here's to many more years of making saving water fashionable!

"We will open the book, its pages are blank, we are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Years Day"- Edith Lovejoy Pierce 

Water Wise Events

Gauteng Climate Change Indaba 2019 

Water Wise was invited to exhibit at the Gauteng Climate Change Indaba on 22 November held at Velmore Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria. The Indaba addressed issues surrounding climate change and how that can be mitigated with innovative strategies. One of the areas of interest was the incorporation of green buildings in and around our cities and importantly the climate change awareness programmes that will be implemented in the near future. Water Wise's recycled products (see images below) that were on display, spoke vastly on the recycling of waste in an attempt to improve the environment. The products on display were hand-made by one of our community groups from Phaake to raise funds for their organisation and help reduce waste. Delegates had an opportunity to interact with our Water Wise team to learn more about how they can reuse their waste.  

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Images above: Recycled products ranging from ornamental plants to earrings made from plastic (top left). A Water Wise team member wearing one of our beautiful caps created from recycled cans (top right). Delegates came in numbers to inquire more about our products on display (bottom left and right).

Farewell and Goodbye

On 26 November 2019, Water Wise had to bid farewell to their Coordinator, Meagan Donnelly. This was a bitter sweet experience for the team, as one of their own embarked on a new journey. Meagan is a great leader, who amongst other amazing things helped shape the future of Water Wise. She has touched so many people with her selfless efforts of assisting and bringing about change in the water sector. Meagan, as you turn the page in your life's story, we as Water Wise join together in wishing you every success in all your future endeavors! 



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Interesting Facts 

Why is the Vaal Dam not filling up after the heavy rain? 

In December 2019, parts of South Africa experienced heavy rainfall which resulted into floods that were viewed as a relief to our water crisis. A reading conducted during this time indicated that the Vaal Dam level was at 39.5% in comparison to 78.5% in 2018. In contrast, the Roodeplaat Dam in Pretoria was overflowing during the floods. After these revelations, more questions or concerns were brought to light by the public in an attempt to comprehend the factors that influence dam levels. Below are answers to the frequently asked questions about the effect of rainfall on dam levels.


1. Volume:

In order for dam levels to increase, the volume of rain needs to be high i.e. something similar to thunderstorms or prolonged heavy rainfall. The first rainfall most often just soaks into the ground and fills depressions, like farms dams before it runs off to our rivers and dams. Continuous rain over a long period of time or thunderstorms, both at high volumes, needs to occur to affect dam levels.

three days

2. When:

It takes about three days for the run-off from rainfall (as described below) to reach the Vaal Dam, so there is often no immediate or obvious change in dam levels after rains. In heavily built up and urban areas with little permeable surfaces, rain run-off will be a lot faster than in more natural and undeveloped areas, where water is allowed to permeate into the ground. 

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3. Where:

The filling of dams depends on where the rains fall. None of the rain we have had in Gauteng goes to the Vaal Dam, so there will be no immediate change in the level of the dam. The water flows either towards the Crocodile and Jukskei Rivers or it joins the Vaal River downstream from the Vaal Dam and goes towards Bloemhof Dam. 

Dam level December

4. Vaal Dam catchment:

The Vaal Dam catchment includes the western parts of Mpumalanga (Standerton, Ermelo, Secunda) and the eastern parts of Free State (Villers, Harrismith, Bethlehem, Frankfort). The Grootdraai Dam at Standerton also needs to fill as it is upstream of the Vaal River.


For more information on the national integrated water information system please visit the following link:


Environmental Days and Public Holidays


01 January: New Year's Day 

20 January: Penguin Awareness Day

Water and Environmental News

Full Disclosure: What SA’s top 10 greenhouse gas emitters are doing about climate risks

''South Africa’s biggest corporations, SOEs and banks are slowly coming to grips with their role in fuelling the climate crisis. And perhaps that’s because it’s starting to hit them where it hurts – on the bottom line. Last week, the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) released its Full Disclosure 5 Report ..."


Our Burning Planet/Greta Thunberg

"Climate-wise, 2019 was the year that humanity saw its future. In dozens of countries, heatwaves brought the highest temperatures since measurements began while Arctic freezes brought the lowest. Tropical storms, unprecedented in frequency and strength, displaced a record number of people.''


EPA sued for allowing slaughterhouses to pollute waterways (USA)

"A coalition of conservation and community groups representing millions of people is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for refusing to update national water pollution standards for slaughterhouses."

slaugter house

How SA engineer Mulalo Doyoyo invented eco-friendly paint ‘by pure accident’

‘’With a kick of frustration, Professor Mulalo Doyoyo (49) sent a bucket containing a chemical concoction flying. It was a mixture he made to solidify coal dust for reuse. As the liquid spilt in all directions, the Venda-born and US-educated engineer, inventor and academic lost hope that he would invent the coal-dust binder – a liquid...”



Zwartkopjes Weather

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.  


 Dam Capacities

Dam level December