South Africa is a water-scarce country where every drop counts.
Over the past two years, SA has struggled to keep abreast of the crippling drought, the effects of which have been more evident than ever before.
Gauteng has recovered after a rainy season.
As a result, National Water Week could not be better educated about the value of water. National Water Week will be taking place from 20 to 26 March in accordance with the International Water Day on 22 March.
SA on the forefront of Waste Water utilization globally
This year, there will be a specific focus on Waste Water, aka the "Untapped Resource", and the United Nations World Water Development Report 2017 driving this initiative will be launched on World Water Day in Durban.
The High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) on "The Access to Water and Sanitation for 10 Billion People"
What Is Waste Water, And How Can We Use It?
Let's face it: We're all wasters when it comes to wastewater. Every time we use water, we produce wastewater. And instead of reusing it, reports from the UN shows that we let 80% of it just flow down the drain.
Instead of wasting wastewater, we need to reduce and reuse it. In our homes, we can reuse greywater on our gardens and plots. In our cities, we can treat and reuse wastewater for green spaces. In industry and agriculture, we can treat and recycle for things like cooling systems and irrigation.
By exploiting this valuable resource, we will make the water better for every living thing. And we will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6 target to halve the proportion of wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.
Here are 5 Ways in which you can actively take part in World Water Day and our National Water Week:
Turn off the tap while you're brushing your teeth or soaping yourself in the shower or doing dishes or scrubbing vegetables. Otherwise, you're just making wastewater without even using it!
Don't pollute your wastewater. Put rubbish, oils, chemicals, and food in the bin, not down the drain. The dirtier your wastewater, the energy and money to treat it.
Collect used water to wash your bike or car. This is easier than it sounds ... you can simply add a bucket to your shower.
Measure your water usage. We are the first step in taking action. You can download the local Drop Drop! - a new mobile app that was developed by the University of Cape Town (UCT) to help residents use water responsibly.
Be a responsible traveler. This will surely become the norm. Help you find your way around the city.
The Green Hotel in Cape Town serves as a prime example, being the first in the world to achieve double-platinum certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. SA also has three Diamond Heritage Environmental Rating attractions in the form of Two Oceans Aquarium, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and Tsogo Sun's Drakensberg Sun Resort.
The water passing through the water cycle. "By reducing the quantity and pollution of our wastewater, and by safely reusing it, we are helping to protect our most precious resource," the UN says.
Global water crisis
Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe home supply, spending countless hours or trekking to distant sources, and coping with health impacts of using contaminated water.
The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, includes a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making the key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.
In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated 22 March as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.
Image by Bernard Kruger.