South Africa is facing a water crisis. Already a water poor country, by 2025 demand for water is set to outstrip supply. With South African’s becoming more environmentally aware and open to green technology, could a ‘Water Revolution’ save South Africa from an impending drought?
Rainwater is full of essential nutrients that our gardens need, which simply are not found in tap water. Yet thousands of litres of rainwater are lost every day, while we water our gardens with precious drinking water. By harvesting rainwater we can utilize a readily available free resource to benefit not only our gardens but save on our bank balances too.
Just 1mm of rainfall can result in a litre of harvested water from the average South African roof. But the bird droppings, leaf litter, dirt and algae that come off our roofs along with the rainwater has made harvesting rainwater this way unappealing – until now.
A simply yet revolutionary design for rainwater harvesting from Australia has enabled it to be collected without any of the associated grime. The ‘Superhead’ design has a sieve to prevent leaves and larger debris collecting in the tube, while smaller particles drop to the bottom of the standing tube allowing fresh water to be harvested from the top. This water can then be stored in a simple JoJo tank and used in our gardens, cars or even for flushing toilets!
The beauty of the ‘Superhead’ design is how easy it is to install and with ‘Slimline’ JoJo tanks now available even the smallest of city homes can capitalise on this freely available resource.
Step Two: Recycling Grey Water
Grey Water is the term given to the dirty water coming out of our washing machines. Even with the newest, most efficient washing machine, the average family is estimated to use 27,000 litres of water a year.
Recycling grey water is not a new concept, however most people have been put off by the odour associated with grey water recycling. This is now a thing of the past, as new technologies like the ‘GFlow’ box have eliminated odours by filtering water through four layers of graded sponge, trapping any odour making sludge. The filtered grey water is then pumped into a network of drip lines that water your garden effectively and efficiently with water that would have gone down the drain.
Step Three: Reducing Red Water
Red Water is a new concept to most people and refers to the water lost while we wait for showers and taps to warm up. It is estimated the average household will lose 16,000 litres of Red Water every year, multiply this by the number of South African households and it is easy to understand why we are facing an impending water crisis.
Recycling red water is as simple as adding a thermostatic device to your existing plumbing. The simple device will divert water that is too cold to a storage tank that can be used to water your garden, or ideally via a green plumbing design redirected to your toilets where it can be used for flushing. Then, as soon as the water reaches the required temperature, the device diverts back to the tap or shower.
The threat of ‘watershedding’ is looming as reservoirs and dams dry up and demand increases. By recycling grey water, reducing red water loss and harvesting rainwater you can reduce your dependence on municipal water system, cut your water bills and do your bit to prevent the impending water crisis South Africa faces.
New technologies and easy to install simplified designs make it easier than ever to be part of the ‘Water Revolution’ and with local companies like Waterwayz (www.waterwayz.co.za) and impassioned people like Misty Reingruber leading the charge perhaps South Africa’s impending Water Crisis can be averted.