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TEACHING FUTURE GENERATIONS TO BE WATER WISE

This month, we hosted 12 schools from all over Johannesburg for National Water Week for a Water Week Awareness Day that aimed to enhance the students’ knowledge of water conservation, sanitation, ecology and waste management.

In partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Gauteng Department of Education and the City of Ekurhuleni, our Water Week Awareness Day was themed “Leaving no one behind, water for all”, and is in line with the current school curriculum.

This was our seventh year and saw learners from schools in the North, East and South Districts of Johannesburg tasked with presenting on two water conservation topics; namely what can be done to ensure that there is water provision for all, and whether water and sanitation service delivery is on track to meet 2030 targets.

Here are a few facts that formed the basis of our passion for sharing the importance of sustainably managing our precious freshwater resources with the future generation:

  1. The global demand for water is expected to exceed the available supply by 40% by 2030.
  2. Also, by 2030 half the world’s populations will be living in areas deemed under high water stress.
  3. Only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater, of which 2% forms the icy glaciers at the poles; leaving about 1% available in rivers, lakes, the atmosphere and in groundwater.
  4. With a growing population, increasingly higher-living standards and resource-intensive farming, this 1% is under threat.
  5. Drought, floods and depleting groundwater stocks are also a threat.

“All the schools that joined us put their utmost effort into showing an understanding of the water scarcity, as well as thinking out of the box with regards to solutions. We thoroughly enjoyed listening and being a part of teaching future generations about water conservation,” says our event facilitator, Mercy Mpofu.

We currently hold a Gold Classification Status in the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme for environmental efforts within the day-to-day functioning of the hotel; including solar water heating systems, an active onsite recycling programme, the installation of eco-friendly shower heads in all our rooms and a further 2 000 environmentally-friendly taps throughout our 52 sprawling hectares, and continuous investigation into a feasible alternative energy source.

Our Ever-Green Team are always hard at work ensuring that our environmental footprint is as low as it possibly can be. We have a strong commercial and moral imperative for addressing water use – water accounts for roughly 10% of the utility bill and is often paid for twice (for freshwater and then for waste disposal).

“It is important to us that we collaborate with government to create awareness of the challenges facing freshwater resources and the conservation of water within business and communities,” explains our Digital Marketing Manager, Greg Hoffmann.