The city of Cape Town has managed to save 59 million cubic millimetres of water due to water efficiency projects, despite severe water shortages.The development was announced by a council representative during a keynote address which opened the second day of the African Utility Week at the Cape Town Conference Centre yesterday.
She said through water usage and demand management programmes, the city has managed to reduce its water losses from 29% in 2009 to 15% this year.
Water efficiency measures implemented by the city include projects to improve consumer awareness on water efficiency. For instance, the Cape Town city council partnered with print, online, tv and radio media houses to provide its 4 million consumers with tips and recommendations on water efficiency.
She said placing of adverts on digital billboards and social media platforms regarding the status of the dam supplying the city with water played a significant role in increasing consumer awareness on water conservation.
To date, the water level at the city's main dam stands at 21%. As the water level continues to decrease, the council is planning to increase its water restrictions to ensure consumers improve their efficiency.
Some of the restrictions will include an increase in the costs of water to 29 cents per litre within the next four months.
Water efficiency programmes
In the same keynote, Silver Mogisha, managing director of Uganda's National Water and Sewerage Board, highlighted how his water utility managed to stabilise its revenue collection at the same time improve its services.
"Through communication, Uganda has changed the perception of water.
"Water is both a social and economic good but has to paid at an affordable price," he said.
He highlighted factors which should be used to characterise a utility which looks at both the social and economic factors in providing services to its customers.
He urged utility firms to:
- Draft clear strategic goals
- Maximise service delivery by highly investing in the efficiency of services, infrastructure and workforce.
- Use data to plan ahead
- Engage with both its workforce and consumers in planning service delivery
- Communicate with consumers using comparative tactics. eg Use social media platforms to encourage consumers to pay their bills [Zimbabwe begins mass rollout of smart prepaid water meters].
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