A Western Cape hotel group has reduced its water consumption by more than 17% over the past year.
The Tsogo Sun hotel group has introduced a range of water-savings measures. Yesterday (4 September 2017) a visit was paid to the group’s SunSquare hotel in the Cape Town City Bowlby Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.
The visit marked the official start of Minister Winde’s programme for Tourism Month.
Sunsquare has put the following water savings methods in place:
- Pressure valves on showers allow for a maximum flow of 8 litres per minute;
- Urinal sensors;
- Reduced pressure of hand wash basin taps;
- Back of house shower pressure valves allow a maximum flow of up to 3 litres;
- Extra hot water return line to provide hot water on demand;
- Sheets and towels are not changed unless requested by guests;
- No table cloths are used in restaurant;
- Linen serviettes replaced by paper serviettes;
- Building management system to alert high water usage, leaks etc.
This week the City of Cape Town instituted Level 5 restrictions and a further increase in pressure management. The upper limit of 87 litres per person and the overall target of 500 million litres per day of collective consumptions remain in place. The managers of commercial properties must, with immediate effect, ensure that their monthly consumption of the municipal supply of water is reduced by 20% compared with a year ago.
The average water level for dams across the Western Cape is 33.6%. Dam levels were at 61% for the corresponding period last year, towards the end of the province’s usual winter rainfall period.
Tsogo Sun’s Operations Director for the Cape region, John van Rooyen says, “Tsogo Sun is committed to saving water at its properties in Cape Town. Hotels in the group have introduced several measures to save water. These include installing aerators and flow restrictors on taps as well as low pressure shower heads.
“Staff members are also constantly monitoring water usage against certain targets through newly installed dashboards. The frequency of replacing linen and towels has also been reduced.
“Guests and staff are made aware of the water-saving measures introduced at the hotels, and asked to assist with using water sparingly, through various initiatives including posters displayed in public areas as well as awareness cards containing tips on how to save water that are handed to guests on check-in. Since implementing these water-savings measures, Tsogo Sun’s hotels in the Western Cape have decreased their water consumption by approximately 17.8%, amid increased occupancy levels.”
Garry Reed, general manager at the Southern Sun The Cullinan, highlighted some of these initiatives during the visit.
Minister Winde said: “Research has found that in developing countries, tourists use between three and eight times more water than residents. We know that water is key for economic growth, and central to many tourism experiences. This is why we need the tourism sector to partner with us to conserve water.
“It is important to celebrate business leaders in water savings like Tsogo Sun. You are helping us transfer this message to tourists. By showcasing these best practices, we are urging other establishments to follow your lead. This is a crisis and we need everyone to play a role in conserving water.”
Minister Winde encouraged the sector to sign the Western Cape Government’s draft Economic Sector Water Security Declaration.
Minister Bredell said: “We are seeing the very real effects of climate change. For the past 3 years, we have experienced below average rainfall. The City of Cape Town has its plan in place, and we will be getting all municipalities on board. All high-risk municipalities will go onto level 5 water restrictions. We’re also working with geo hydrologists to manage our groundwater.
“Recovering from this crisis is not going to be easy, but if we work together we can avoid Day Zero.
“We need to showcase and share best practices like Tsogo Sun, everyone must step up and do their bit to save water.”
Throughout the month, Minister Winde will be releasing brief profiles on business leaders who are saving water.
Highlights from Minister Winde’s programme for Tourism Month include:
First Thursday focus on tourism products in partnership with Wesgro
Date: Thursday, 7 September
Venue: 142 Long Street, Cape Town CBD
Time: from 5pm onwards
Khayelitsha-based Airbnb entrepreneurs growing tourism through tech
Date: Monday, 11 September
Opening of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Date: Thursday, 14 September
Provincial Lilizela Awards
Date: Tuesday, 19 September
Journey to Service Excellence awards
Date: Tuesday, 26 September
Viewing of new Sunsquare City Bowl hotel
Date: Wednesday, 28 September
Source: Western Cape Government
A water crisis is looming in South Africa as dam levels continue to decline, authorities warned last Tuesday.
Due to a sharp reduction in rainfall as a result of the El Nino phenomenon, water levels of dams across the country decline week on week, the Department of Water and Sanitation said in its latest assessment, conducted on a weekly basis.
The assessment conducted earlier this month reflected a 0.4 decrease on dam levels which are currently sitting on an average of 53.4 percent compared with 53.8 percent of the previous week.
ast year at the same time the dam levels were reported to be at 76.2 percent.
There has been a falloff in average dam levels in all nine provinces, the department said, adding that a further fall off of about 10 percent before the onset of the summer rains can be expected.
Of the 211 dams being monitored on a weekly basis, 12 dams are below 10 percent, 64 dams are below 40 percent of capacity while 18 of the dams are at 100 percent.
The department said it has concluded with stakeholder consultations and recommendations are being advanced on how to intensify and ensure water supply during the current low dam levels.
Earlier this year, Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane indicated that it can take more than three years for dam levels to recover to acceptable operating capacities, given the effects of a strong El Nino phenomenon.
Cape Town – Faced with the lowest dam levels in eight years, the City of Cape Town has cautioned residents that water restrictions could be on the cards when summer starts.
The city’s mayoral committee member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg, said: “Over the past 15 years, the city has recognised that existing water resources should be used as effectively as possible. As a result, we have intensified measures to use water more efficiently and to reduce water consumption and wastage.
“Despite some rains, we still urge residents to save water, as Cape Town is a water scarce region.”
Although there had been some rain since the beginning of winter, the runoff had not significantly increased dam levels. The city was therefore facing the possibility that the levels at the end of winter would not have recovered to the same levels experienced in previous years.
Dam levels would be assessed at the end of the season by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, as usual.
“A decision will then be taken on how the system of dams will be operated over the next year, including whether water restrictions will be required.”
Sonnenberg said the city wanted to re-emphasise the need for consumers to continue with water-saving practices to conserve as much water as possible before the drier summer months.
These initiatives, coupled with improved leak detection, asset management and pressure management schemes had helped to significantly curb the city’s water demand growth and wastage over the past 15 years.
He added that the city’s water by-law called for compliance with water conservation and demand management practices.
Recommended water-saving tips include:
* Perform a water audit at home
* Fix leaks on plumbing system and appliances.
* Take showers instead of baths.
* Reduce shower time.
* Confine watering of gardens to before 10am or after 4pm.
* Cover garden beds with mulch to retard evaporation.
* Monitor water meters for high consumption and possible water leaks.
* Fit hoses with trigger sprayer nozzles.
* Use brooms to sweep hard surfaces instead of a water hose.
* Use buckets for vehicle washing (informal car washes to use trigger sprayer nozzles and formal to recycle their water).
* Re-use the final rinse water from washing machines for the next wash cycle.