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Water Wise Watch - November 2021


Logo NovemberThis month at Water Wise


World Toilet Day is a day to celebrate toilets and raise awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about tackling the global sanitation crisis and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. November 19 was designated as World Toilet Day by the United Nations General Assembly on the 24th of July 2013, and is coordinated every year by a partnership between UN-Water and governments around the world. The theme for 2021 is "Valuing toilets". 

How to observe World Toilet Day:

  1. Read up

The history of the toilet and plumbing in general is a fascinating read, and there is also a lot to learn about the lack of sanitation resources across our country and the world. 

  1. Post it

Post a picture of your own toilet, or pictures of toilets from the internet on social media with #World ToiletDay to raise awareness for World Toilet Day and the need for safe, sanitary and available sanitation solutions.

  1. Act 

The official World Toilet Day website offers a tool to help you connect with others hosting events around the world. This could be a great way to get ideas for hosting your own events in the future to raise funds.

      4. Save

If you are lucky enough to have access to safe, reliable sanitation, make sure you save water wherever and whenever possible. By placing a two litre plastic bottle filled with water into the cistern you can save two litres of water per flush. By retrofitting your cistern, you can save up to 5 litres of water per flush.


This month at Water Wise
Garden World Summer Festival

Garden World is a unique garden centre situated within a magical garden in Muldersdrift, Gauteng. The centre offers far more than shopping for your gardening requirements, they also offer magnificent display gardens, a children's playground, an animal farm and a stunning wedding venue among other things. Annually, Garden World hosts a garden festival where professional landscapers and students from various universities and organisations showcase their talent and beautiful designs to anyone visiting the centre. 

This year, the Summer Festival runs from 22 October 2021 to 05 December 2021, under the theme: "Gardens For The Soul". In an effort to put the water conservation message across, Water Wise has participated in each festival by judging if designers have incorporated water wise principles within their garden and landscape designs. These principles include mulching, hydrozoning of plants, the use of water wise plants (succulents, grey foliage, hairy leaves, etc.), recycling of water, just to name a few. The overall Water Wise garden winner for 2021 was "Touched by Zen" by Stephen Mundell (see images below) that displayed water wise principles such as hydrozoning, the use of water wise plants, and the use of permeable surfaces.

To further reiterate water conservation in the garden, the Water Wise  team constructed a garden display (see images below) to help educate visitors to the garden about the importance of hydrozoning. Hydrozoning is the grouping of plants according to their water needs. The Water Wise team achieved this by grouping plants into no water, low water, medium water, and high water zones (see images below). To learn more about water wise principles in your garden, click here.

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Water Wise hydrozoning display garden  
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Water Wise winning garden: Touched by Zen  

Water Wise gardening ideasUsing hydroponics as a planting method

Hydroponics is a form of gardening where plants are grown without the use of soil, and whereby the plants get their essential nutrients from a different fertiliser source (see image below). Depending on the type of hydroponic system used, the plant’s roots may grow directly into a liquid solution or into a medium such as clay pebbles, peat moss, or sand (in an aggregate system). This way, the grower has control over environmental conditions like temperature and pH balance, as well as the plant’s exposure to nutrients. With hydroponics, you can grow plants and vegetables faster than conventional gardening and you can grow all year round. Plants grown hydroponically also produce a greater yield, require less space and use less water than conventional gardening. Hydroponic gardens use as much as 10 times less water than traditional field gardens because the water in a hydroponic system is captured and reused, rather than it being allowed to run off and drain into the environment. You can learn more about hydroponics here.



WW tip of the monthLow-flow shower-heads and taps

While some people associate low-flow shower-heads and taps with poor or low water pressure, they can actually provide a robust flow of water, and the best thing about them is that they save you water. These modifications can save as much as 89% of water. There are two water saving methods that are available for shower-heads in particular, aeration and  laminar.
  • Aeration: An aerating shower-head saves water by forcing water through small holes in a screen, and this adds air to the water, producing a fine, but vigorous spray. While this reduces the overall amount of water the shower-head emits, it increases the pressure of the individual water streams. The added advantage is that it produces a truly invigorating spray, often compared to needles of water and creates an especially steamy shower (see image below).
  • Laminar: Laminar shower-heads are defined as constant streams of non-turbulent water.  Laminar technology doesn’t mix air into the water stream, so you won’t get the sharp “needles” of an aerating head. Instead, laminar shower-heads and faucets distribute the water into larger individual streams, and they often come with an adjustable feature that allows the user to select a gentle spray or a robust massaging action. Laminar technology is also used in overhead rain-type shower-heads for a gentle soaking that many people find soothing (see image below).
These water saving shower-heads can save up to 500 litres of water per day in a household of four people.
aerating laminar
Images above: An aerating shower-head (left) and a laminar shower-head (right).

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Environmental days


06 November: International Children's Day

19 November: World Toilet Day

21 November: World Fisheries Day

Water and environmental news

UN Human Rights Council declares access to clean environment a human right
"In a landmark move, the UN Human Rights Council formally recognized that access to a healthy environment is a fundamental human right. Ambassadors from Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland..."
UN Environment
Prince William’s £1m environmental prize
"Prince William held an inaugural awards ceremony in Alexandra Palace last night for his environmental prize – the Earthshot Prize – alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and artists such as Ed Sheeran and Coldplay."
"Cape Town — Every day, the food we eat connects us to a vast global network of farmers, traders, food manufacturers, retailers, and many others involved in bringing food from the farm..."
small scale farmers
On expert advice, South Africa cuts its 2030 emissions cap by a third
"Africa’s biggest polluter has significantly strengthened its climate targets, in light of the latest science and falling renewable energy costs. Coal-reliant South Africa has cut its emission cap for 2030 by nearly a third..."

Dam capacities

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