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Water Wise Watch - March 2021



 This month at Water Wise

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Commemorating National Water Week (15-22 March 2021)

Water plays an important role in every part of our lives economically, socially and culturally. The theme for the 2021 World Water Day is “Valuing water”. It aims at understanding how people value water on a daily basis; at home, at work, at school or anywhere else.

The main objectives of the campaign are:
  • To highlight the importance of water
  • To encourage communities to value and save water
  • To actively engage stakeholders to find solutions for water challenges facing South Africa
To understand the value of water, we first need to know where water comes from. Many people think water comes from a tap. This is understandable given that fact that many households have taps in their homes or yards, resulting in easy access to water but there are a lot of processes involved to get the final product ( Water is a finite resource and its continual supply depends on the conservation of this natural resource. Natural water resources such as rivers and lakes (surface water) are used mostly for urban supply, and groundwater (sub-surface water) is mainly used in rural areas of South Africa. All these natural resources are replenished by precipitation through the water cycle, which in itself fluctuates annually and seasonally.

Valuing water depends on appreciating that water does not come from a tap and that protecting, conserving and preserving these natural resources is crucial. To highlight the importance of natural resources, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has termed the naturally functioning ecosystems that produce and deliver services that are of value to society - fresh water, climate regulation, soil formation and disaster risk reduction - as ecological infrastructure. An ecological infrastructure serves the same purpose as a built infrastructure, in that it provides goods and services to humans and is as important, if not more, than the man-made infrastructure that supports human activity. The more we learn and understand how the environment works, the more we will be able to value the environment and its resources that we depend on. To understand more about water, where it comes from and its importance, click here (information supplied by WWF).
Let's take action:
  • Pay for water services
  • Don’t pollute water
  • Get involved in environmental campaigns or clean-ups
  • Practice saving and reusing water
  • Fix and report leaks


Tell us what valuing water means to you!

Water Wise gardening ideas

The planting season is here

March is planting season in the world of gardening. Autumn is slowly creeping in and this is the best time to get plants established before winter. Plants to sow now in preparation for winter in the Gauteng region include sweet peas, poppies and primula. For vegetable gardening, start preparing to sow winter plants such as cabbage, and cauliflower. Click here for more information about what to do in the garden this March. During preparation of your beds, adding compost to your garden will do wonders. Compost will help with water retention and enrich your soil, making it more favourable for plants to grow.


WW tip of the month

Do you know how to read your water meter?

The Vaal dam has been making headlines recently with great news. With the dam having reached its full capacity, residents are still encouraged to continue saving water. A great way of saving water in your house is knowing how to read and interpret your water meter. water meter 1_small

Benefits of having a water meter:

  • Water meters assist in the detection of leaks as a preventative measure of reducing the amount of water wasted in your household.
  • Taking your water meter readings will allow you to monitor your water bill.
  • You can control your monthly water usage and save money!

Click here for more information on how to read and record your water meter figures.


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Environmental days



03 March: World Wildlife Day

15-22 March: National Water Week

18 March: World Recycling Day

21 March: International Day of Forests

23 March: World Meteorological Day

27 March: Earth Hour

Water and environmental news

Flow of raw sewage into Vaal River a violation of human rights, SAHRC rules
"The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has given various government stakeholders 60 days to respond after it ruled that the continued flow of raw sewage in the Vaal and homes and public areas in the Emfuleni local municipality was aviolation of human rights. The commission gathered oral and written..."
Polokwane faces water crisis 'due to operational challenges'
"Polokwane and surrounding areas face a water crisis due to an apparent lack of infrastructure maintenance at the Ebenezer and Olifantspoort bulk water schemes. The two schemes are run by the embattled Lepelle Northern Water (LNW), which is responsible for bulk water supply to Polokwane. Major water reservoirs have been at 0% for several days, leaving the suburbs and surrounding villages dependent..."
A countrywide water shortage is looming and government is mum on wastewater audit
"A countrywide water shortage is a decade away unless urgent action is taken to rehabilitate and preserve our rivers and catchment areas, fix and maintain crumbling infrastructure and implement water re-use, reports GroundUp. Without intervention, South Africa faces a deficit of about 3 000 billion litres of water per year by 2030, the Department of Water and Sanitation told..
Capetonians still saving water out of fear of another Day Zero
"Capetonians are using about 40 million litres less water a day than they are allowed to, even though the water crisis ended nearly five months ago. Experts say this could indicate a sea change in consumers' understanding of the value of water. It could also be that the fear of Day Zero, when taps were predicted to run dry last April, is still fresh in people's minds. Christine Colvin, senior manager of WWF's freshwater programme, said WWF had done a small..."

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