Cape Town’s drought journey – living a water-conscious lifestyle
Summer is fast approaching, and with it the predicted lack of rain. Day Zero warnings and our #6BFORME campaign feel like a distant memory as Cape Town City’s six largest reservoirs celebrate a collective total capacity of 76%. Cape Town’s drought journey has been a long one, but one that highlights the power of community in preventing a disaster. This public awareness needs to continue in order to prevent another drought this summer.
In August, Cape Town’s combined dam levels reached an incredible milestone by breaking through the 60% mark for the first time in two years. In addition to the recent high levels of rain, this is a great testament to the efforts made by the public, and initiatives such as #6BFORME that raised awareness and prompted action to combat the dire situation of the drought.
Unfortunately, as the dam levels have been rising, so has the water consumption of Capetonians. As a result, dam levels have dropped 0.2% since their reading last week.
Level 5 water restrictions were made effective from 1 October meaning that Capetonians are required to drop their daily usage to 70L per person per day, or less. When these water restrictions were relaxed, overall consumption increased to its highest point since April.
Last week, 563 million litres were used per day. This is a drastic increase from the 510 million litres that were tallied in late September and consumption is only predicted to increase with the arrival of summer. So, how do we prevent a repetition of last summer’s drought?
#6BFORME, an initiative launched by Stor-Age and run alongside the City of Cape Town, had the simple, yet effective goal to aid the water crisis and raise awareness about the allocated 50L of water per day. Our conveniently located stores nationwide were opened up as water collection points for members of the public to drop off sealed water to be donated in areas that needed it the most.
While we may not be at level 6B anymore, the 50L per day usage is a lifestyle that is encouraged regardless of the water levels. Being water-wise is not a temporary solution, and conscientious behaviour needs to be implemented on a day-to-day basis.
Every water-saving effort that is made can make a difference. These are a few water-saving techniques can be incorporated in both the workplace and at home.
- Check and fix all leaks.
- Only flush the toilet when necessary.
- Reduce the length of showers.
- Collect shower water and use it to flush the toilet.
- Wait for a full load in the washing machine and dishwasher before running it.
- Encourage staff and colleagues to save water at home.
Overcoming the drought is a great testament to the power of community and living water-wise. We encourage all Capetonians to keep living with this conscientious mindset for the sustainability of our environment.
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