Ev­ery drop counts

go! Platteland - - EDS’ LETTER -

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.

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