The Western Cape is experiencing its worst drought in more than 100 years. Storage dams are at it’s lowest level due to a reduction in annual average rainfall and increased water consumption by residents.
Theewaterskloof dam is at its lowest level recorded. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks
The City of Cape Town will be implementing ‘emergency’ supply measures that include: utilizing groundwater from the Table Mountain Group (TMG) and Cape Flats Aquifers, pilot-scale desalination plants and pilot-scale wastewater to be reused from Zandvliet wastewater treatment works, are likely to contribute less than 5% of the current water demand.
The critical situation in the Western Cape is that high consumption of water during the coming summer months can leave the storage dams at its lowest level ever. Recently it was decided that water gathering of the natural springs in the Western Cape is not a viable option. Underground water can be used in certain areas for domestic purposes but in most areas, it cannot be used for drinking purposes.
The banks of the Berg River dam in May 2017. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks
The only option for the residence in the Western Cape is to adopt a water saving campaign.
Practical tips to incorporate wise use of water in our everyday lives:
- Make wudu by wiping the Fard parts of the body only
- Use a jug when taking wudu and do not let the water run
- close your stopcock by turning it in a clockwise direction then open it again about a half turn; go to the furthest cold water tap away from your stopcock then see if there is enough water flowing from it for usage. If required adjust the stopcock until a reasonable flow rate of water is achieved.
- Check for leaks and dripping taps;
- Adopt a water recycling process in your home
- Water from the washing machine should be used in the toilet systems. No drinking water should be used in the toilet systems
- Recycle washing water onto your garden, or to wash your car
- Rainwater storage tanks should be introduced for precipitation collection
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth;
- Have shallow baths or a quick shower;
- Install water-saving devices or simply place a brick in your cistern to reduce the amount of water (toilets flush away about 11 litres of water);
- If possible, plant indigenous plants which are adapted to the local environment as these require less water and they can survive long periods of drought
- Use water sparingly when performing wudhu (ablution) or ghusl (purification bath)
- The Masjid in your area should be encouraged to install water-saving taps and to investigate the possibility of recycling wudhu water e.g. for use in gardens;
- Report any signs of leakages or pollution to your local authority;
- Never dump waste in rivers, seas or wells.
- Convert your garden to be water sensitive, by for example creating areas that can absorb rainwater to help your garden survive and act like a sponge.
Receding water levels at Theewaterskloof Dam have left dying plant life behind. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks
04 October 2017
14 Muharram 1439
Sh. Dr. Muhammad Ridwaan Gallant