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Water Wise Watch - April 2024


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This month at Water WiseWorld-Earth-Day-2024-750x350Each year on April 22, we commemorate Earth Day which is a significant event that transcends national boundaries and unites people around the world in a shared commitment to environmental stewardship. The following are compelling reasons why Earth Day is so important:

  • It emphasizes the significance of conserving diverse ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems provide critical services such as water purification, clean air, and biodiversity protection. By celebrating Earth Day, we encourage the preservation and repair of these vital ecosystems.
  • It is a reminder to take action. It raises individual and group awareness about daily routines and their environmental impact. Earth Day encourages concrete actions that contribute to a healthier planet, such as reducing carbon footprints, conserving water, and implementing sustainable practices.
  • It is a powerful tool for raising public awareness of critical environmental issues. It provides an opportunity to educate individuals, communities, and organizations about the challenges that our planet faces, such as climate change and deforestation, as well as pollution and biodiversity loss.

The Theme For Earth Day 2024

This year’s theme for Earth Day is "Planet vs. Plastics". This captivating theme seeks to raise public awareness about the negative effects of plastic pollution on the environment and its inhabitants. It aims to spark a global movement to significantly reduce plastic consumption and production by at least 60% by 2040. The movement aims to urge individuals, businesses, and governments to take concrete actions such as:

  • Sign the Global Plastic Treaty on the website to pledge against the continual use of plastics.
  • Reject Fast Fashion - Washing of our synthetic clothes accounts for 35% of the total microplastics in the ocean. To combat this, choose to buy clothes made from natural materials such as organic cotton, linen, or hemp.
  • Join the #PlasticDetox social media challenge - Make a difference by taking small steps towards the reduction of single-use plastics (shopping bags, straws, bottles and packaging). Share your eco-friendly swaps on social media platforms to inspire others.
  • Buy reusable grocery bags, food containers, coffee mugs, and water bottles.
  • To reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, ensure that acceptable plastics are recycled and food scraps are composted.

 Sources: World Earth Day 

This month at Water Wise420188811_811216307719078_1164660280685332273_n (1)

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The Water Services-Municipalities Forum-Information Day, hosted by SAGIC Platinum Partner Rand Water Water Wise, at Stonehaven on Vaal on March 20, 2024, aimed to provide factual information regarding the 193-hectare water lettuce infestation in the Vaal Barrage River System.

Key speakers at the event included:

  1. Marc de Fontaine: A water quality scientist from Rand Water who provided insights into the impact of the water lettuce infestation on water quality and potential solutions.

  2. Kay Montgomery: Representing SAGIC, Kay Montgomery discussed the organization's role in addressing water-related challenges and its approach to dealing with the water lettuce infestation.

  3. Prof. Julie Coetzee: From the Centre for Biological Control at Rhodes University, Prof. Coetzee shared expertise on biological control methods and strategies for managing invasive species like water lettuce.

These speakers likely contributed valuable perspectives on the issue, ranging from scientific analysis of water quality to potential control measures and strategies for mitigation. The event likely served as a platform for stakeholders to better understand the extent of the problem and explore collaborative solutions.

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ANA Autumn 2024 Trade Fair

Rand Water's environmental brand, the Water Wise Team, participated in the South African Nursery Association (SANA) Trade Fair as a custodian for water sustainability. The SANA show, an event that showcases the beauty of plants and gardens alike, held at Khosa Sports Club, Krugersdorp, is an opportunity for members of the Green Industry to highlight conservation by promoting greening in landscapes and gardens. The goal is to inform the public about the importance of water conservation in vegetable gardens. By incorporating these water-wise principles into the vegetable garden, gardeners can grow healthy, productive crops while saving water for future generations.

Water Wise gardening ideasCommon-Pests-and-Diseases

Organic Pests Control Remedies 

Pests that live in our gardens can have a negative impact on the growth and quality of our produce, reducing crop yield significantly. Pest outbreaks have occasionally been linked to changing climate, which has a direct impact on food security. Pesticides have traditionally been used to eliminate pests, with little regard for the potential environmental consequences. Pesticides can harm the soil, reduce water quality, beneficial insects such as pollinators, and even other plants. Organic pest control remedies are a great way to manage pests without the use of synthetic chemicals, which can be harmful to the environment, pets, and beneficial insects. Here are some home-made organic pest control remedies you can try:

  1. Neem Oil Spray: Neem oil is a natural insecticide and repellent. Mix neem oil with water according to the instructions on the bottle and spray it on affected plants. It works against a wide range of pests including aphids, whiteflies, and caterpillars.
  2. Garlic Spray: Garlic is effective against soft-bodied insects like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Crush a few cloves of garlic and let them steep in water overnight. Strain the liquid and spray it on affected plants.
  3. Chili Pepper Spray: Chili pepper spray is a natural repellent for many pests. Blend hot peppers with water and a small amount of dish soap, strain the mixture, and spray it on plants. Be cautious as this can irritate skin and eyes, so wear gloves and goggles when handling.
  4. Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from fossilized algae. Sprinkle it around the base of plants to create a barrier against crawling insects like ants, slugs, and beetles. 
  5. Soap Spray: Soap spray is effective against soft-bodied insects like aphids, mites, and mealybugs. Mix a few teaspoons of liquid soap (such as castile soap or dish soap) with water and spray it on affected plants. 
  6. Essential Oil Sprays: Essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, and lavender have insect-repelling properties. Mix a few drops of essential oil with water and a small amount of dish soap, then spray it on plants to repel pests. Test on a small area first to ensure it doesn't harm the plants.
  7. Companion Planting: Planting certain herbs and flowers alongside vegetables can help repel pests. For example, planting marigolds near tomatoes can deter nematodes, and planting basil near tomatoes can deter aphids.

Water Wise Garden

WW tip of the month

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Tap aerators and shower regulators

Tap aerators and shower regulators are simple and effective devices used to reduce water consumption without compromising water pressure. Here's how they work:

  1. Tap Aerators: These are small attachments that screw onto the end of a faucet (tap). They work by mixing air into the water stream, which creates a softer, more aerated flow. This aerated flow feels similar to the full flow but actually uses less water. Tap aerators typically come in different flow rates, allowing you to choose the level of water savings you desire. They can reduce water usage by up to 60% while maintaining adequate water pressure for most tasks like handwashing and dishwashing.

  2. Shower Regulators: Shower regulators, also known as flow restrictors or water-saving shower heads, are devices that limit the flow rate of water from a shower head. They typically work by restricting the flow of water while maintaining a consistent water pressure. This reduction in flow rate helps conserve water without significantly impacting the showering experience. Shower regulators can reduce water usage by up to 60% or more, depending on the specific model and flow rate settings.

Sources: Taps and Showers 

Environmental days

Screenshot 2024-03-14 100351 03 April: World Aquatic Animal Day
13 April: International Plant Appreciation Day
22 April: Earth Day

Water and environmental news

“…Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) refers to plants that are non-native to an ecosystem, which may cause economic and environmental harm or adversely affect human health. Particularly, they impact adversely on biodiversity, including the decline and/ or elimination of native species, through competition, predation or transmission of pathogens. This results in the disruption of...”
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New ecoregion proposed for Southern Africa’s threatened ‘sky islands’
“A group of scientists is proposing the designation of a new African “ecoregion” consisting of an “inland archipelago” of 30 isolated mountains, some harboring animals and plants found nowhere else on Earth. The South East Africa Montane Archipelago straddles southern Malawi and northern Mozambique. This geographical isolation has fueled the... ”
This is a copper tailings pool. Along with its siblings, it’s poisoning this part of Uganda.
“…A toxic legacy is now seeping from these pools and into water, soil and bodies in this region, as the Nyamwamba bursts its banks with increasing frequency. Global warming has disturbed the climate above the mountains on high — during the rainy season, floods have become more common. As the…”

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