Water usage per capita in South Africa is 235 liters compared to the daily water usage of 173 liters per capita in the world. These figures paint a grim picture and emphasize the need for all South Africans, not just the Western Cape, to drastically change the way we think and use water. Against a global rainfall average of 870 mm per year, South Africa receives only 450mm, making South Africa one of the driest countries in the world.
The need for change to a saving water mindset
On analyzing water consumption patterns, it was found that the bulk of domestic water use is used to irrigate gardens. We all like to have our own vegetable or flower plots, but as a water scarce country we need to change our approach on how we manage our water sources. Using potable municipal water for gardening is no longer an option. As government has announced stricter constraints on borehole use, we need to look at alternatives. With the rainy season looming ahead we also now have the opportunity to reduce our water footprint by harvesting rainwater and stretching our water sources significantly.
Rainwater harvesting IS a solution
Collecting rainwater can reduce stormwater runoff and assist in water quality protection. Approximately 1500 liters of rainwater can be collected for every 304 square meters of collection surface per 3 cm of rain. Water can be collected from primarily for roofs and non-porous areas. The best catchments have hard, smooth surfaces, such as concrete or metal roofing material. The amount of water harvested from a catchment depends on its size, surface texture, slope, and quantity of rainfall received.
A simple water harvesting system usually consists of a catchment, a distribution system and a holding area such as a big tank from which you then can irrigate your garden or connect it to your household water network.
Invest in a Rainwater Harvesting System
Harvesting rainwater reduces your dependency on the municipal network, cuts down on your utility bill and as rain contains no harsh chemicals, it is an excellent solution for your gardening needs. With the rainy season around the corner, now is the time to make sure you have enough harvesting and storage tanks to ensure your garden stay green even in the driest climate.