Did you know………

……that more people in the world have mobile phones than toilets?

……one in eight people (884 million)  people lack access to safe water supplies

……that water and sanitation borne diseases claim more lives than any war claims through guns

……that 12-14 million South Africans do not have access to safe drinking water

…… if we continue water consumption at the current rate we could run out of drinking water before 2040???

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Ms Edna Molewa is calling on all South Africans to join the Department in celebrating National Water Week by making a positive contribution toward efforts to conserve and protect the country`s water resources. The country’s already scarce water resource is further threatened by high levels of pollution in dams and rivers, water wastage that occurs in our homes as a result of leaking taps and pipes and a lack of commitment to conserve water by industries and the agricultural sector.

National Water Week is an annual awareness campaign of the Department of Water Affairs which seeks to focus attention on water as a scarce and precious commodity in our country.

Minister Molewa is therefore appealing to every South African to take practical steps to conserve and protect water resources. This means citizens are encouraged to use at least one of the water saving tips the Department has introduced.

The City of Cape Town are also promoting some tips on how to save water:

    • Install a low-flow shower head and tap aerators on all taps.
    • Flush toilets only when necessary.
    • Install a multi-flush or dual-flush mechanism in the toilet. A multi-flush device allows the user to choose exactly how much water goes to waste when pressing the handle. A dual-flush device has a short flush button for liquids and a longer flush button for solids.
    • Plant water-wise indigenous plants.
    • Water gardens only in early morning or the evening and only when necessary.
    • Install garden drip irrigation on flower beds and sprayers on lawns.
    • Collect rainwater for re-using on the garden or washing the car.
    • Use a broom instead of a hosepipe when cleaning driveways or patios.
    • Insulate hot water pipes so that not too much water is wasted when waiting for water to get hot.
    • Cover your swimming pool to reduce water evaporation.

For more tips on how to save water, visit the City’s Water Services website.

Celebrated under this year’s theme: Water is life; Respect it, Conserve it, Enjoy it, National water week aims to:

• Raise awareness around the need to conserve and protect water resources

• Highlight the Departments plans and achievements as custodian of the country`s water resources

• Ensure water is put firmly on the national agenda

• Encourage everyone to use water sparingly at all times

• Call upon all citizens to ensure each person uses water wisely and sparingly at all times

• Remind citizens that South Africa is a water scarce country and that water is a finite resource


During National Water week a series of key activities are planned across the country. The City are planning a number of activities as part of their celebrations- click here for the schedule.

So what are you planning as an organisation?

Other resources.

  • View the City of Cape Town’s Water By-law [PDF 438 KB] which controls and regulates water services in the Cape metropolitan area.
  • Click here to download the ‘WATER’ section, or full version, of the Smart Living Handbook – a practical sustainability guide for people and households in Cape Town to make their homes safer and to save money and the environment.
  • Weekly Dam levels for Cape – click here
  • FLOW media toolkit 2012 Toolkit (e.g. Posters, banners, news snippet, story tips) for you to tailor with your branding and use with your various platforms- click here


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