I think we are all aware of the drought in our country at the moment. Dam levels for both the Nelson Mandela Bay region as well as the City of Cape Town have been recorded at an all-time low (Read: Our precious water resource is becoming even scarcer). Even more worrying is the projection that both these cities will run out of water quite soon if it does not rain. There is reason to be concerned and statements such as “Without rain, South Africa’s Cape Town may run out of water by April”1 need to be treated with the utmost urgency. It is possible to mitigate the effect of the drought, but to do this we have to implement drastic measures. This drought should serve as a warning and example to us, as droughts can occur anywhere. It is therefore everyone’s responsibility to use water responsibly. The added demand from population growth and the ever increasing need for water by the agriculture and business sectors places further stress on our precious water resources. Read this blog to find out more about how you can ensure water is not being wasted.

Trace and Save has continually advised farmers to install flow meters in an effort to monitor and reduce water usage. The benefits of having flow meters include:

  • Being able to accurately monitor water use in every season and compare it year to year to determine whether water usage is improving or not
  • The ability to monitor and quickly pick up where there is an increase in water usage that is potentially caused by leaks in pipes or malfunctioning ball valves in water troughs

There are also other benefits of installing flow meters, which relate more to the improvement of soil and water quality and the prevention of surface- or underground water contamination. These benefits include:

  • The ability to calculate the volume of water applied to pastures so as not to over irrigate
  • When flow meters are installed on effluent pipelines it results in the ability to determine exactly how much effluent has been applied to pastures, which together with effluent nutrient analysis, allows for the calculation of the amount of nutrients applied to pastures. This can be incorporated into a nutrient management strategy, and reduce the need for imported fertilisers.

These benefits show that installing flow meters would be a good financial and environmental investment for a farmer. Flow meters are a tool which farmers can use in reducing water use. Water scarcity is an issue that affect us all. Do your bit for water conservation and install flow meters on your farm.

References:

  1. Roelf W. 2018. Without rain, South Africa’s Cape Town may run out of water by April. Reuters. Accessed https://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-drought-capetown/without-rain-south-africas-cape-town-may-run-out-of-water-by-april-idUSKBN1F51DC on 24-01-2018 at 15:00
Marno Fourie

Marno Fourie

Marno is a Trace and Save researcher that works on the Woodlands Dairy Sustainability Project and has been part of the team since January 2013. He studied Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University. He is passionate about using natural resources in a way that leaves it in a better state for the next generation.

Marno loves the outdoors and to explore new places on his 250cc motorbike, which by the way, is a more eco-friendly mode of transport that generates less carbon emissions than his bantam bakkie. He enjoys good food and company. He also likes to look at natural vegetation in the rough when attempting to play a round of golf.

You can email Marno at marno@traceandsave.com or connect with him on social media:
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