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Water Wise Watch - January 2021

04.01.21

Logo_Jan 2021

new year As the new year begins and we embark on a new chapter of our lives, may we look forward to making new memories. May 2021 restore all that has been lost. May we hold onto our HOPE, but most importantly, may we keep each other safe.
Happy New Year to ALL from Water Wise.
 

This month at Water Wise

Water Wise collaborates with SANBI
 
In the past few years Water Wise has collaborated with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) to develop water wise gardens at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (WSNBG) and the Pretoria National Botanical Garden (PNBG). Each garden represent a different landsape design aimed at educating the visitors about water conservation within gardens and landscapes. 
 
The WSNBG is located in Roodeport and is home to an abundance of indigenous plants and wildlife, with about 240 bird species recorded on site. The botanical garden is well-known for its famous Witpoortjie waterfall located across from a beautiful picnic area. It serves to conserve biodiversity whilst educating the public about a variety of indigenous species. Featured within the botanical garden is a Water Wise garden, that is aimed at educating the public about water conservation within  gardens and landscapes. The Water Wise garden depicts the following:
  • Hydrozoning of plants: this is the grouping of plants according to their watering needs. Hydrozoning prevents the unnecessary watering of plants. Plants are grouped according to high, moderate, low and no water use categories. 
  • Rainwater harvesting: using rain water tank systems, rain water is captured from the roof of the lapa and directed straight to a storage pond.
  • Permeable hard landscape that allows water to percolate into the soil.
  • A seating area that allows visitors to explore the surrounding landscape.
  • A play area for children with artificial lawn covering the ground, making it a low maintenance and no water use area. 
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 Images above taken at the Water Wise garden within the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. 

The PNBG is located in Pretoria and is home to a variety of wildlife and indigenous plants. The botanical garden also aims to conserve indigenous plant and animal life while offering the public an opportunity to explore their beautiful landscapes. The botanical garden contains a Water Wise garden that is aimed at educating the public about water conservation. Featured within the Water Wise garden is:

  • Hydrozoning of plants: this is the grouping of plants according to their watering needs. Hydrozoning prevents the unnecessary watering of plants. Plants are grouped according to high, moderate, low and no water use categories. 
  • Rainwater harvesting: using rain water tank systems, rain water is captured from the roof of the lapa, stored in a Jojo tank and later used to water the plants.
  • Mulching prevents the evaporation of water from the soil and keeps the soil moist for longer periods.
  • Vegetable gardening to drive the idea of organic planting and food security in communities. 
  • Modern gardening ideas, where succulent plants are placed in decorative baskets around a seating area. 
  • Indigenous plants with different water wise plant characteristics. 
  • Organic compost production. 
  • Overall, the garden portrays how one can adopt all the water wise principles for home gardens and landscapes with the aim of using less water.

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Images above taken at the Water Wise garden within the Pretoria National Botanical Garden.

To learn more on how you can apply water wise principles in your garden, please feel free to visit any of the botanical gardens. Enjoy!

**The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden and the Pretoria National Botanical Garden are currently in a process of being revamped, so be on the look out for some exciting additional features. 

Water Wise gardening ideasControl erosion by utilising smart plants

Soil erosion is very devastating in landscapes that are situated on slopes. Important nutrients in the soil may run off after heavy rainfall events or irrigation, preventing plants from absorbing the necessary minerals to sustain growth. As a result, plants end up dying and this then creates patches within the landscape. One way of mitigating the effects of erosion by water is by using suitable plants that are wind resistant, able to spread along the ground, low maintenance and can be used as a living mulch to help preserve water in the soil. An example of suitable ground covers are Plectranthus ciliates, Dymondia margaretae, Carpobrotus deliciosus and Aptenia cordifolia (see below images).

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plecranthus_1 Dymondia
Aptenia cordifolia Carpobrotus deliciosus

WW tip of the monthReduce water flow

Putting a bathroom renovation off is one thing, but putting the replacement of your plumbing accessories off is another. You can save water in your bathroom by simply inserting flow regulators in the taps and shower heads. Flow regulators can be inserted in old and modern taps and showers to help reduce water usage by 50% without negatively impacting the water flow, but reducing the flow rate.

Regulators 1Follow us on our social media

There are two new DIY videos on our YouTube channel. These show you how to make your own rain gauges and watering cans from household items. Click on the YouTube icon below to go to our channel.

Click on the links below to access our social media pages for more on water and environmental news and issues.

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Environmental days

 

calender _jan 2021 01 Jan: New Year's Day
26 Jan: World Environmental Education Day

Water and environmental news

 

Imvelisi Enviropreneurs Programme accelerates SA’s green economy
“Imvelisi, an early-stage business development platform has partnered with GreenMatterZA and the South African Young Water Professionals Network (YWP-ZA) to address SA’s green economy through an innovative Enviropreneurs Programme. Funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the programme..."
Imvelisi program
World Bank approves First Amazon Fiscal and Environmental Sustainability Program
“The World Bank Board of Directors approved today the US$200 million First Amazonas Fiscal and Environmental Sustainability Programmatic DPF. The project will support fiscal reforms aimed at promoting fiscal sustainability while integrating forest conservation and development, as part of the state’s post-COVID-19 economic...”
amazon-forest
Scientists share research into water and health challenges at science forum
“Research into the importance of water in the wake of Covid-19 has sparked interest among scientists across the globe since the outbreak of the pandemic. This became evident on Friday during a virtual Science Forum South Africa 2020 discussion where various scientists shared their research into water and health challenges in their respective countries.”
water contaminants 1
Cape Town beaches might disappear as rising sea levels threaten coastal tourism, study finds
"Cape Town's coastal tourism is under threat from rising sea levels and beaches are likely to disappear. The problem is so serious that businesses along the shoreline are urged to increase their insurance cover to protect themselves from anticipated surge in damage caused by the rising sea levels and extreme weather."
cape town increases in sea level

Dam capacities

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