Every drop counts
Tworld has gone crazy, we know, but what is much worse is that it’s gone dry. Very dry. While easily half of South Africa’s population are bemoaning the shenanigans of our president and half of humankind are popping Imodiums to get over Donald Trump’s victory in the US election, we here at the southern tip of the continent are experiencing a disastrous water scarcity, the worst in more than 100 years, they say. And in the long term it could cause far more damage than even the most fickle political leader.
Our dams are getting emptier, water restrictions are getting stricter and prayer days for rain are proliferating – but so are the songs of rejoicing when the rains do fall. Great, now we can water the garden again.
Actually, there are only two things we should do to cope with this drought… and with Messrs Zuma and Trump: We need to do some self-reflection, and we need to think deeply and objectively about the long-term implications of our actions.
On page 74 we list 36 practical tips from readers on how we can all do our part to help conserve our precious water resources, starting today. For example, did you know that 9 to 15 litres of potable water goes down the drain every time you flush the toilet? Most of you would probably shudder at the thought of a composting toilet, but do read Alan Duggan’s fascinating article about it on page 78.
What’s most important, especially for Platteland readers, is that we should never stop gardening – vegetable gardening in particular. Yes, we may no longer be able to irrigate our gardens with fresh drinking water, but that means we have to make other plans so we can keep eating the best, freshest food. So we invite you to send us any water-saving tips you may think of or hear about. Email them to letters@ goplatteland.co.za or post them on our Facebook page. We can never have enough plans to save water.
As an incentive we’re giving away a packet of herb seed, in conjunction with Garden Master, with every copy of Platteland. Sow it, water it smartly – and enjoy it.
Have a good rest over the holidays and think deeply about every drop of water you use. We’ll chat again in autumn.
Dry can be beautiful too – like here on Koo Pan north of Askham in the Northern Cape.