Dear students and colleagues
As a major consumer of municipal water, the University of Cape Town (UCT) needs to set an example in water-wise use and sustainability, not only during the current crisis but far into the future. The forecast for Day Zero (the day that taps and valves will be turned off across large areas of the city) has been pushed back to 9 July 2018, however this precious resource will remain in limited supply even if we avoid Day Zero completely this year.
To ensure that water is conserved and properly managed, the executive have determined that as a campus community, each of us needs to use 50% less water every day, across all campuses.
There are several reasons for this drastic step.
Setting a slightly higher savings target of 50% will help keep UCT on a solid financial footing as well as set an example for the responsible use of resources.
Reducing UCT’s water use by half is both necessary and achievable. One way that each of us can contribute is by ensuring that we use a total of no more than 50 litres of water a day, whether we are on campus, at home, in residence, in a research lab or visiting friends and family. There are many ways that each of us can reduce our personal water consumption. I urge you to make them part of your daily routine and to encourage others to do the same.
Saving water is not just an individual responsibility: UCT departments have also been instructed to reduce their water usage by 50%. Each department has been asked to appoint a “water champion” to coordinate discussions and activities to help save water, and every member of each department is urged to offer ideas and take the initiative to help save water.
The Water Task Team (WTT) is an advisory group at UCT that facilitates new water consciousness on campus and drives water-savings activities. It falls under the portfolio of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Loretta Feris and is chaired by Dr Kevin Winter, who heads up UCT’s Future Water Institute. Engineering and logistics interventions are the responsibility of Properties and Services and report to acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Anton le Roex. Communications have been centralised under Jessica Fell, who can be contacted on 021 650 5671 or via the Water Desk email account.
Here are some of the steps that the WTT has taken in the last nine days:
These are just some of the ways that UCT is seeking to save water at an institutional level. Every individual effort is just as important. With your help, we can establish UCT as a water-wise and water-sensitive institution that contributes to the welfare of the Cape Town community.
Dr Max Price
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