National Water Week

National Water Week

National Water Week

Seventy per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water and our bodies consist of 50 to 75% water. These days we know how to predict tsunamis, thunder storms and even floods and yet, many people still die every year due to some water-related reason.

Pure water is tasteless, odourless and colourless, although it does have a blue tinge in large volumes.

Water is a basic requirement of life but the earth’s water resources are under constant threat. The importance of these resources is underlined by the number of national and international days and events with the specific goal of protecting and conserving water. These days include the World Wetlands Day (2 February), World Water Day (22 March) and World Ocean Day (8 June) and our national Water Week (21 to 27 March).

During national Water Week, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry “attempts to draw attention to the importance, awareness and understanding of water issues and challenges”: The theme for World Water Day of 2016 is “Water and Jobs”, against the background of the decade’s “Water for Life” campaign.

The truth is that two out of every ten people on earth do not have access to safe, clean drinking water. As a result, 3900 children die daily from illness and conditions that could have been prevented by safe water. This situation is not limited to far-away, rural areas, but at times is also prevalent in and close to our towns and cities, especially after floods and natural disasters. In the interest of all we should never relax our demand on the authorities for clean water.

What you can do

Not only the government, businesses, factories and mines need to contribute to the conservation of our water; what we do in our own homes ultimately influence the quality of our water:

  • Ensure that no diesel, oil, detergents, plant matter, animal and human debris end up in our storm drains
  • Use environment friendly products for the garden. Use only organic fertilisers and use them sparingly
  • Don’t use pesticides and other poisons that may land up in our water system
  • Hand unused medicines in at your local chemist that will dispose of them in the correct, safe way
  • Ensure that your motor vehicle does not leak oil or fuel
  • Refrain from dumping or pumping anything into a steam or river, or dumping anything on the banks. Even garden refuge may disturb the balance of a water system and threaten aquatic life
  • Participate in community clean-up campaigns that are run from time to time
  • Prevent untreated sewerage from entering our streams and rivers
  • Talk to others about the importance of keeping our water clean
  • Report any threats clean and safe water to the authorities. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry can be called toll-free on 0800 200 200.


(Revised by M van Deventer)