The water shortage

The water shortage

While we’ve all been focused on load shedding, a much bigger problem is appearing in South Africa. The issue is the growing water shortage crisis. There are a number of reasons for this; including climate change and infrequent rains which have led Durban’s dams to decrease by 20% compared to the beginning of 2010.  This is coupled with the fact that 35% of the city’s water is given out through illegal connections, means we may all be in big trouble if we don’t do our part to save where we can.

If you have started making progress with your vegetable garden, this crisis will most likely have a negative effect on all your hard work because water is important to the health and nutrition of your garden’s soil and produce. If we’re going to get through this problem, we are going to have to learn to adjust our lifestyle in order to ensure that our families and gardens remain healthy and well nourished.

An effective measure that you can include as a feature in your garden, is a water-saving rain barrel. These barrels allow you to harvest 1 litre of water for every 1mm of rainfall. In a year you could harvest as much as 25000L of safe drinking water. Being vigilant with fixing leaky taps and detecting pipe leaks could also save a great deal especially when considering that as much as 37% of the country’s wastage is due to leaking pipes and poor infrastructure related problems.

Other water saving tips include:

  • Take a shower rather than a bath.

  • Don’t run the tap whilst cleaning your teeth.

  • Only boil as much water as you need when making tea or coffee.

  • Water plants using the cooled water after boiling eggs as it is rich in nutrients

  • Wash vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap.

  • Don’t overwater your lawn as this encourages weeds to grow and can weaken the growth of your vegetables.


Look out for our next gardening post so you too can learn how to build your own rain barrel.


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