Do you know the journey of water?
When opening taps for free flowing water in our homes, it’s so easy to forget that long before that water reaches our homes it has travelled a long journey to get there.
Before water flows through pipes to reach cities and towns, it starts in nature. The ecosystems that provide this vital resource must be protected and managed sustainably if they are to meet the needs of South Africa’s growing economy.
Recently WWF South Africa launched the Journey of Water to connect urban water users to their water sources, which are often distant and not given the recognition they deserve from the public.
Researchers from WWF and the Council For Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently mapped out all of South Africa’s water source areas. By modelling information about rainfall and river run-off, the study revealed that only 8% of our land delivers more than 50% of South Africa’s surface water. These water production areas are high-rainfall environments that are essentially nature’s water factories which supply water to the majority of the country.
In the Western Cape seven water source areas supply the water to the people of our region:
- Boland Mountains
- Groot Winterhoek
- Langeberg Mountains
- Table Mountain
These areas not only supply the catchments and dams downstream, but also provide water to communities in and around towns and cities, the farming sector and industries that help drive our economy.
Human activities can severely impact on both the quality and quantity of this precious resource that eventually ends up in our taps, and for this reason it is vital for us to conserve not only our freshwater areas, but also the mountain catchments, estuaries and marine environments.
To find out more about the water source areas in the Western Cape visit: www.journeyofwater.co.za/catchments/western-cape
Did you know: just 8% of South Africa’s land area provides half of its surface water? Visit the journey of water website read about the catchment areas in the Western Cape.
Partners and supporters of WWF-SA’s Journey Of Water: Sanlam (funder); Ogilvy (creative); City of Cape Town; Department of Water Affairs (DWA); CapeNature; Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (technical partners); Europcar (Transport); Consol (bottle sponsor); Ocean Basket, Spur, John Dory, Moyo, Societi Bistro, The Brasserie and Jonkershuis (restaurant partners); Pick n Pay, Clicks, Woolworths and Spar (retail partners), Spier and Hotel Verde (accommodation sponsor); ACSA (advertising sponsor)