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The City and the Province have launched the #Savewater campaign to encourage residents to get the better of their wasteful water usage habits.

Water is life - don't waste it!
Water is life - don't waste it! (Photo: Government Communications)

The City of Joburg has teamed up with the Gauteng Provincial Government and bulk water supplier Rand Water in a new drive to promote responsible water consumption in the city and the province, focused around the #Savewater campaign.

The campaign, which aims to educate residents on water consumption and conservation, was launched this week at Zwartkopjes pump station, south of Johannesburg.

It's a dry country - stop leaving the taps running

Speakers at the launch emphasised that the prevailing dry weather conditions are not the only causes of the water scarcity in the country - careless water consumption is a big contributor.

According to Joburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau, up to 46% of water usage in some areas of Joburg goes on gardening alone.

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Jacob Mamabolo said the province's water supply was "under pressure" owing to population growth and the manner in which water was consumed.

"With this campaign, we should be able to break new ground and change the way we manage water," Mamabolo said. "We have a problem of water in Gauteng; we are a water-scarce province. Rain alone will not solve our problem.

'Radical changes in water management needed'

"We need a radical departure from the lack of knowledge on how we manage our water," Mamabolo said. He urged residents to consider buying water storage facilities to harvest rain water for their future needs.

"Every household, school, clinic and business must buy a 'Jojo' tank and harvest water. The department will also include 'Jojo' tanks when we build RDP houses."

Rand Water Chairperson Matshidiso Hashatse said the country's water loss was estimated at R7-billion, mainly as a result of running water being left unattended.

Hashatse said the water level in the Vaal River system, which supplies Gauteng with water, currently stands at 54%. Ideally, water reservoirs should be between 60% and 80% full.

'Things will get worse if we don't act now'

City of Joburg Environment and Infrastructure Services MMC Matshidiso Mfikoe, speaking at the City's last council meeting for the year on Thursday, 26 November, stressed that the recent rains had been insufficient to break the drought gripping the country.

MMC Mfikoe noted that Rand Water, from which Johannesburg Water receives its bulk water supply, has warned residents of serious consequences if they do not conserve water, with the situation likely to get worse by March 2016.

She urged residents to refrain from watering their gardens between 6am and 6pm, from washing their cars with hosepipes, and from filling their swimming pools. She also called on communities to fix or replace leaking taps, and to report leaking or burst pipes to Johannesburg Water.

"All of us are expected to rally behind and garner support for this campaign," she said.

#Savewater do's and don'ts

  • Fix leaking taps, toilets and pipes.
  • Use a bucket when watering your garden.
  • Re-use water for flushing and gardening.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Plant indigenous trees.
  • Report water leaks to your local municipality.
  • Collect water from rainfall.
  • Do not leave taps running.
  • Do not use a hosepipe to wash your car.
  • Do not leave taps running when brushing your teeth.
  • Do not overfill the bath.
  • Do not allow growth of weeds as they consume a lot of water.
  • Do not leave sprinklers running.

Source: www.joburg.org.za