South Africa: It’s time to take responsibility for our water

water conservation south africaIt is time that we all take responsibility for the state of our water sources and for the poor levels of sanitation in our urban areas.

The contribution of each South African in the conservation of our water sources is important, as it not only has an impact on how much water is available for use, but also on the spread of disease.

That was the message of Dr Jo Barnes of the Division of Community Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She was the speaker at the third Water Seminar of the Stellenbosch University Water Institute, which was held during HOPE week.

In her presentation, Dr Barnes focuses on the impact that informal housing settlements, poorly designed low cost housing schemes and the agricultural sector have on the levels of sanitation and water pollution in our communities, towns and rivers.

She said that greater cooperation between the various organisations involved in water management and water use is critical.

She also highlighted the fact that every South African can play a part in conserving our scarce water resources.

She provided the following water-friendly tips:

  • Conserve water whenever possible.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
  • Recycle and dispose household waste properly.
  • Obey anti-litter bylaws.
  • Report all blocked or overflowing drains and follow up.
  • Don’t ever divert rainwater or stormwater down sewerage drains.
  • Do not deposit harmful chemicals (oil, paint, etc) down any drain.
  • Only recycle household wastewater directly onto your garden if you can treat it and do it safely.

Source: Stellenbosch University News

There is really no excuse for wasting water in South Africa or anywhere in the world.  Perhaps the expected water tariff hikes in South Africa will be good in that people will start realising the financial value of water water and start conserving it (even if they have no interest in the environment).  Harvesting rainwater and storing rain water in water tanks is the smart way to get free water to save money, conserve water and save the environment.

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