Wa­ter sav­ing in schools

The New Age (Western Cape) - - News - VIN­CENT CRUYWAGEN news@the­newage.co.za

A WA­TER-SAV­ING ini­tia­tive that will be ex­tended to Cape Town schools will save 1 mil­lion litres of wa­ter a day.

The ex­ten­sion of the Sho­prite Group ini­tia­tive, which in­cludes a smart me­ter, fol­lowed a hugely suc­cess­ful pi­lot pro­gramme at the Hec­tor Peterson Se­condary School in Wal­lace­dene. It re­sulted in an av­er­age daily sav­ing of 80 kilo­litres of wa­ter, the equiv­a­lent of the 87 litre daily wa­ter al­lowance for 460 in­di­vid­u­als and a R52 000 sav­ing each month.

Prior to this in­ter­ven­tion the school with more than 1200 pupils was con­sum­ing 47kl a week­day and 37kl a day on week­ends. How­ever, since the in­tro­duc­tion of the sys­tem, con­sump­tion dropped 72% to 13kl per week­day and by 100% on week­ends when the valve stayed closed.

The sav­ing mea­sures in­clude clos­ing the main valves at night, re­plac­ing the plumb­ing of half the toilets, which were run­ning con­tin­u­ously and shar­ing data with pupils to mo­ti­vate them.

Fol­low­ing the huge suc­cess the Sho­prite Group in­tends ex­pand­ing this pro­gramme to Cape Town’s top 100 high wa­ter-us­ing schools in part­ner­ship with Brid­giot, a start-up com­pany af­fil­i­ated with Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity (SU), which de­signed and built the smart wa­ter me­ter lo­cally. Ac­cord­ing to Prof Thi­nus Booy­sen from SU, the Brid­giot smart wa­ter me­ter mea­sures and re­ports wa­ter use by the minute by trans­mit­ting user-friendly con­sump­tion in­for­ma­tion to an in­ter­net app and users are no­ti­fied of any un­ex­pected us­age pat­terns via SMS and email.

“Smart wa­ter me­ter­ing not only aids be­hav­iour change due to in­creased aware­ness about wa­ter con­sump­tion. It also as­sists with the preven­tion of wa­ter losses due to leaks that would oth­er­wise have gone un­no­ticed,” he said.

JOINT EF­FORT: Hec­tor Peterson Se­condary School ran a pi­lot pro­ject.

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