Water | WWF South Africa

	© Scott Ramsay

Becoming water-wise

Have you ever heard it said that “water is life”? It’s because water literally IS life. Without it, you can only survive for three days.
We’ve seen how desperate South Africans have been as drought hits the country. As a water-stressed country, this is the biggest threat to our social, economic and environmental security.

Lesser rainfall has seen our crops struggling, placing added pressure on the poorest of our country. It has also meant dams running dry as water source areas face parchment. This, in turn, threatens water security and unreliable water supply for communities that don't have the luxury of bottled water.

Water does not come from a dam, pipe or tap. Our water supply issues can’t be solved by building more dams; it needs a change of heart and minds. That’s where you come in.

WWF’s top 5 tips to saving water:
  1. Check your inside and outside taps for leaks and fix any leaking faucets or dripping taps.
  2. Turn off the tap when doing things such as brushing your teeth and in between washing your hair and put a bit of water in a basin when rinsing fruit and vegetables.
  3. Collect shower or bath water in a bucket and re-use this greywater for mopping floors and then flushing the toilet. Challenge yourself to never again flush with quality drinking water!
  4. Re-direct water from your washing machine into a way that you can use it for flushing.
  5. Realise that water saving must be ongoing even when there has been good rainfall, or if your city’s dams are fairly full. Using water wisely requires a change in mindset and water-saving habits – and it must be a major priority for each and every single South African!

The facts

  • We could have adequate water for all South Africans, yet 18% of South Africans rely on communal taps and 9% of households don't even have access to clean water and instead  rely on springs, rivers and wetlands.
  • Water doesn’t come from a tap – it comes from living catchments and aquifers. In South Africa, half the water in our rivers and dams comes from just 8% of our land. We need to protect these water-producing landscapes before it’s too late.
  • South Africa receives just half of the world’s average rainfall each year. It is the 30th driest country in the world and 98% of our water is already allocated. Yet we are not re-engineering water-wise cities fast enough in response to climate change and droughts.
  • In 2016, 8 out of 9 provinces were declared disaster areas due to the ongoing drought. Despite this nationwide crisis, many citizens are slow to realise that this is not a drill.
  • 35% of perfectly good drinking water is wasted in cities and municipalities due to leaks. This includes privately owned homes where a drip or a slow leak is often overlooked.

Putting water-saving action into perspective:

Nifty water-saving tips

South Africa is a water insecure country. Wise water usage is something we all should aspire to.
© Istockphoto.com / WWF-Canada

How does water affect me?

Water is the bedrock of everything, literally – especially when it comes to what we consume. Every single thing you see around you took water to make. Either through production, farming, transportation, packaging or cooking, our “stuff” has a liquid history.

Find out more!