“There is an acute water shortage. Please use water sparingly”, are the words that have been pasted up around campus for quite some time now. If ‘Warning’, ‘Waarskuwing’, and ‘Isaziso’ have not caught your eye recently, then you have some catching up do to. Signs such as this one often go ignored by busy students who, when they get home, have forgotten about the long day and just need some chill time before their next encounter with the campus signage.
So, for those of you who are either rushing to avoid the long Kaif queue, or if you’re deleting those ‘studentnews’ emails that would have told you…let’s briefly look at why we should ‘please use water sparingly.’
Grahamstown draws its water from Settlers Dam and the surrounding catchment. When the volume of water stored in the system is less than 40% the total consumption of Makana Municipality for the last year, the Council has to impose water restrictions.
Some of these restrictions include the use of garden hoses and irrigation, and washing cars with water from the municipal system. Applications for watering sports fields and nurseries must be obtained under these circumstances; otherwise R200 rand fines are up for grabs.
But water conservation is not about money and these signs should be heeded. It is in our best interests to adopt wise water practices as matter of habit if we are to have sustainable supplies in the future.
And to those environmental keen-beans with veggie patches, or Oppies devoted to the age-old tradition of car washing - good on you, but please respect the tough times and turn off your taps.