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Water Wise Watch - June 2020


headingThis month at Water Wise

wed-2020Welcome to June, a month of youth and environment. This month we celebrate our precious environment with World Environmental Day on 5 June. The theme this year is biodiversity. Join us as we learn more about biodiversity while celebrating World Environmental Day.

Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms from all environments, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between the species, and of an ecosystem. Biodiversity forms the foundation of the vast array of ecosystem services that critically contribute to human well-being. Biodiversity is important in human-managed as well as natural ecosystems.

There are three types of biodiversity, namely genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. 

1. Genetic diversity

Genetic variation refers to the prevalence of two or more allelic forms of a particular gene in a given population, whereas, genetic diversity refers to the prevalence of a diverse range of genes in the gene pool of organisms. Hence, variation deals with individuals, whereas, diversity deals with entire populations or species. Genetic diversity can be considered to be a combination of variation as well as variability (the tendency for variation to occur in a species). This combination helps biological species to be adaptable to changes in their environment. These changes could be a result of a change in population sizes, weather conditions, natural disasters, arrival or departure of competing species, etc. 


 2. Species diversity

It's defined as the number of species and abundance of each species that live in a particular location. The number of species that live in a certain location is called species richness. If you were to measure the species richness of a forest, you might find 20 bird species, 50 plant species, and 10 mammal species.

Wildlife-safaris-in-Uganda3. Ecosystem (ecological) diversity

This is the variation in the ecosystems found in a region or the variation in ecosystems over the whole planet. Ecological diversity includes the variation in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Ecological diversity can also take into account the variation in the complexity of a biological community, including the number of different niches, the number of trophic levels, and other ecological processes.

An example of ecological diversity on a global scale would be the variation in ecosystems, such as deserts, forests, grasslands, wetlands, and oceans. Ecological diversity is the largest scale of biodiversity, and within each ecosystem, there is a great deal of both species and genetic diversity.



You can support biodiversity by encouraging wildlife into your garden at home. Insects like bees and butterflies help pollinate fruit trees and flowers. Plant indigenous trees and flowers that encourage bees and birds into your garden. You can construct a mini-wetland or pond in your garden to encourage frogs and toads. Frogs and toads feed on pests like mosquitoes, locusts, and flies. Build a bat box and invite bats into your garden. Many bats feed on fruit and act as seed dispersers by carrying seeds far distances and depositing them in their droppings. Spiders feed on insects and are natural controllers of insect populations. Ladybugs feed on aphids and help to control the population of aphids. 

Water Wise community vegetable gardens

Ratang Bana: Future For Children 

Ratang Bana is a non-profit organization that was established in 2011 at Alexander township. They take care of about 120 families that have 350 children which are HIV/AIDS victims. The organization also provides meals, educational assistance  and medical care for the children.

From the vegetable garden at Ratang Bana veggies are harvested and used to prepare the meals that are served. Water Wise joined in helping the NPO in 2014 by renovating playgrounds, installing rainwater tanks, and putting up educational signboards. Currently, Water Wise facilitates vegetable garden training on a regular bases to help the community to produce quality organic vegetables. For more information on Ratang Bana, you can visit their LinkedIn and Facebook pages below.

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Images above: Veggies that are planted on-site for feeding schemes. Dedicated men who work in the garden attending training that was facilitated by our Water Wise Senior Horticulturist.  

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Environmental Days


05 June: World Environmental Day
08 June: World Ocean Day
16 June: National Youth Day
17 June: World Day to Combat Desertification

 Water and Environmental News

Coronavirus puts spotlight on landmark year for nature

"The pandemic struck in what was meant to be a landmark year for biodiversity. New goals for protecting the natural world are due to be agreed in October. While lockdown has been linked to a number of positive environmental changes, including wildlife reclaiming urban spaces, we know very little about how large areas..."


R600m project to ensure access to water and sanitation at more than 3 400 schools

"The Department of Basic Education has set aside R600 million to ensure schools have water and sanitation, according to Mbulelo Tshangana, the director-general of the Department of Water and Sanitation...He added that Rand Water had already negotiated with all suppliers in the country to ensure targets are met."


Covid carbon drop hides mass pollution by only 100 corporations

"Global carbon emissions will probably drop by 8% this year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. This is an agency designed to favour narratives that advance the cause of wind, solar and other sustainable energy sources."


How protecting nature can protect us

"As South Africa grapples with the tragic effect of the coronavirus on people, the economy and society it’s increasingly clear that our status as a megadiverse country is a blessing, but that our reliance on nature tourism is a risk. In good times and bad, our natural places are our greatest assets. In addition to offering beauty and a source of mental health, our grasslands, shrublands, forests, and coastlines shield us..."


Dam Capacities