Over the past few years South Africans have seen one of the worst droughts in decades and it is no longer only the farming and food industry feeling the effect of water shortages as multiple harsh water restrictions and water rationings have been implemented across the country. “South Africa is a country characterised by low and variable rainfall and high evaporation rates. This poses challenges to economic development and livelihoods as water is at the centre of the web linking food security, trade and energy. Both agriculture and urban-industrial areas in many parts of the country have suffered from both floods and droughts in the past. It is forecast that some parts of South Africa will receive less rainfall, especially in the Western part of the country. The Eastern region, especially KwaZulu-Natal, is expected to experience increased variability in rainfall and increased risk of flooding”, said Sputnik Ratau, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation.
In a media statement from the Department of Water and Sanitation they stated that dam levels are continuing to decline. “The assessment conducted on 12 June 2017 has reflected a 0.4 decrease on dam levels which are currently sitting on an average of 72.1% compared with 71.8% of the previous week”, the statement reads.
Washing dishes by hand has been done for decades across the world but times have changed and thanks to evolution of green technology, there are more sustainable options that are readily available. Bosch Home Appliances did a study comparing dishwashing by machine and washing by hand where it was found that washing by hand can use an average of 40 litres of water, 2.60kWh of power requires approximately 60 minutes to complete per wash. However, washing with the new Bosch Dishwasher will see customers using only 6.5 litres of water and 0.67 kWh of energy. What is more, it only takes an average of 15 minutes to load and unload the dishes. This means, that when using a dishwasher, households could save up to 45 minutes per load giving families an extra 210 hours of quality time or 23 vacation days a year. Households can also save an estimated 9,200 litres of water per year. “It is generally recognised that adoption of water-saving technology can a have significant impact on water consumption and in most cases, result in reductions in water use. However, in most cases this depends on the behaviour of consumers”, Ratau added.
Before purchasing or upgrading a dishwasher, there are a few factors that are essential to take into consideration:
- Options that prevent glass corrosion over time.
- Technology which maximises efficiency and ensures environmentally friendly rinsing for brilliant results.
- A dishwasher which is quiet, efficient and has a low electricity consumption.
- For households with children or allergies it is crucial to look at a dishwasher that allows for increased temperature washing options.
- Options for washing half loads without wasting electricity and water.
- The amount of water used per wash.
- Speed and duration of the wash – consider looking at something with VarioSpeed Plus which allows you to wash dishes faster with a reduced rinsing time without compromising the cleaning quality.
- An on-board machine care option that removes grease and lime scale from the dishwasher with standard machine care detergent.
- Drying options that provide extra heat while the machine is in the drying cycle.
“The country does have a well-developed water resources infrastructure (with more than 4 395 registered dams) and thousands of kilometres of pipelines. We are fast approaching full utilisation of available surface water and groundwater yields, and are running out of suitable sites for new dams. The maintenance of such infrastructure is key to ensure continued sustainable water use. In addition, climate change outcomes in terms of rainfall and temperature will have a negative impact on water storage. Water requirements, moreover, are growing. There is therefore, a need to find new ways of reducing water demand and increasing availability – which move beyond ‘traditional solutions’ of infrastructure development”, Ratau added. With the recent shift in capability and perception of green technology over the past few years, more people are made aware of insightful purchasing decisions factoring in that effect on the environment.
“Although there might be a clear economic incentive in using a water saving a technology, the consumer must understand the nature of water scarcity in the country, the water saving technology used and change the mindset and behaviour to bring about significant water conservation. Technology as a stand -alone solution can be challenged and thus for greater and sustainable impact it should always be coupled with education and awareness” Ratau added.
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