Water remains a crucial resource and the recent water crisis that has affected many parts of South Africa shows just how dependent we are on this resource

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa is a water scarce country and is also world’s 30th driest nation as it gets half the average rainfall amount compared to the rest of the world.  Our government has acknowledged this and come up with four major areas they want to focus on to conserve the country’s water resources:

  • Minimise consumption of water (improve conservation of water)
  • Maximise rainwater capture and grey-water recycling
  • Protect wetlands
  • Minimise pollution of water resources

So what is our part in all this?

There is no doubt that we all need to work together as a community to conserve water.  Here’s how you and your neighbours can save water and make your community water wise.

Starting your water committee in your hood

  1. Garner interest –  Talk to your neighbours and community members and find out if they would be interested in joining a water committee. While a one-man water committee might sound like a good idea, more members mean more people saving water.
  2. Do your research  – Do research to find out information about the water usage in your area and possible alternative water sources that could work in your area like boreholes, water collection points, etc.
  3. Connect –  Send out emails, start WhatsApp groups, put up posters and talk to your neighbours to get everyone excited about the new committee and wanting to join. OurHood is the ideal platform to share information about water saving tips and organising committees. 
  4. Group time – Get together as a group to come up with a strategy to save water in your area and discuss possible ways of involving more community members in your initiative. Also discuss various roles and responsibilities of group members within the committee so the work is spread out rather than left to one person.
  5. Bigger is better – Ask local organisations and businesses if they would want to be a part of the water saving committee. Show them your plan and see how they are going about saving water.
  6. Branching out – Talk to other initiatives to find out what they are doing in their committees to get some ideas about yours. You can also ask them any questions you may be having or just having them as a support systems

Ideas for water committees

  1. Send out water saving tips to community members.
  2. Organise speakers for your community to inform members about the water crisis, long term and short term.
  3. Create a support system to help members who may struggle with ways of saving water
  4. Have a plan for day zero. This could consist of a plan for water collection, distribution and sharing water amongst neighbours who have alternative water sources.
  5. Compile and send out a list of recommended water saving products to fellow members.

What to take into consideration

  1. Make your committee as diverse as possible as some people may struggle to do some water saving tasks
  2. The time is now! Don’t wait for other people to create a committee for you
  3. You make more of a difference in a group than alone

Some quick water saving tips

  1. Check for leaks and get them fixed as soon as possible
  2. Install water saving fixtures
  3. Replace older appliances that might use up a lot of water
  4. Plant drought-friendly plants and add mulch which retains moisture for the plants

Useful links 

Your friendly neighbours from OurHood