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January 2018

Dear <<First Name>>

Water dominates our newsfeed this month – and appropriately so. Observing how Capetonians respond to the drought and threat of Day Zero is so interesting. Those who have been switched on for a long time take it in their stride, find creative ways to respond.

If you love a challenge, then you were made for these times. Rise to the occasion.

The more entitled you have been living your life, the harder the resistance now. We cannot undo climate change at this late stage. We now have to deal with the consequences, whilst at the same time not losing the focus on the vision – a liveable future for our and future generations. So don’t for a second forget about energy and ditching the fossil fuels from your life.

Theewaterskloof Dam photo by Barry De Villiers

We can either respond – and DO something to mitigate our footprints right away – or we can react and blame the world and his aunt. Of course the government, local, provincial and national, did not heed climate leaders’ and water experts’ warnings over the years. But all of us with running water are responsible to a degree. You could read my personal response here. If we would all decide to tackle this bull by the horns and turn off those taps, who knows what we could still manifest.

Thank you for reading and spreading our news for a better planet.

Please support our work here.

Season's greetings,
Elma and Ruben

How to ditch Day Zero

The ways to respond to our looming Day Zero are as vast as the diversity in this country.

#WaterCrisis: Cape Town facing a total disaster

“We’re facing a real, total disaster in Cape Town which is going to affect more than four million people.”

Gift Of The Givers gears up for Day Zero crisis

Disaster-relief organisation Gift of the Givers is on a drive to collect water for Capetonians facing the harsh reality of standing in water queues throughout Western Cape.

Five signs that Day Zero may be averted

Day Zero is currently predicted for 12 April. However, a lot can happen before that day arrives.

Getting into a prepping state of mind

At last the Cape Town society has moved out of the first stage of grief – denial.

Germany unveils zero-emissions train that only emits steam

The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train, is expected to launch in Germany this year. The train, which emits no carbon and is capable of operating in near-silence, could be set to revolutionise the future of rolling stock while improving air quality.

New report shows that our world is just 9% circular

With more than 90% of the raw materials used globally not cycled back into the economy, our planet is left with a massive strain on its natural resources and climate that needs to be urgently relieved.

Choose to reduce or Day Zero will be devastating

At our current rate of water consumption, not only is Day Zero likely, but it will also shift closer.

Facts and myths about Cape Town’s water crisis

Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille has announced that Day Zero is now more likely than not. From 1 February, all households have to reduce their municipal water consumption to 50 litres per person per day.

Recycling awards to honour this year’s exemplary agencies

Once again, the South African PET industry’s biggest celebration of recycling and waste management excellence are open for nominations.

Cape Town, on verge of running out of water, braces for “chaos”

Surrounded by beautiful stretches of ocean, it’s hard to believe Cape Town could become the first major city in the world to run out of water. Ominously named “day zero,” April 21 – 92 days from today – is when the taps will be turned off.

Disabled Gansbaai residents receive PVC beach wheelchairs

As part of their commitment to the environment and community the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) recently donated an imported beach wheelchair, made from PVC pipes, to Cross Home Care based in the Gansbaai area, Western Cape.

The battle for the Philippi Horticultural Area rages on

Prolonged drought hits farmers hard. But in Philippi in Cape Town lies an oasis of land with abundant access to groundwater.

From full to empty in four years: the ballad of Western Cape dams

When conditions are optimum, a full Theewaterskloof holds more than half of all the water in the Western Cape water system. It has just under 16% of its capacity left – of which around 10% is probably unusable.

Cape Town set to run out of water in less than 100 days

Historically fed by heavy winter precipitation, Cape Town has been known as a haven of abundant natural water. This year, however, it may be the first major city in the world to run out of water.

Cape water crisis: it’s time to prepare for day zero

WWF South Africa have published a water file to help households and businesses in the Western Cape to prepare for life beyond Day Zero, when we will have access to very little water.

Time to divest from planet-threatening fossil fuels

We experience more droughts and floods than our grandmothers did when they were our age, while our own hard-earned savings fund the coal plants that are polluting Mzansi and contributing to climate change.

How Australia’s extreme heat might be here to stay

A section of highway connecting Sydney and Melbourne started to melt. Bats fell dead from the trees, struck down by the heat.

Dam project fast-tracked to tackle Cape Town water crisis

Plans to increase water supply to the Voëlvlei Dam, scheduled to come on stream in 2024, have been fast-tracked to 2019 to help with Cape Town’s water crisis.

What would SA’s imminent water crisis mean for our economy?

While Cape Town’s water shortages continue to make headline news, a nationwide water crisis may also be on the horizon. However the threat and better management of this critical resource may actually be the economic savior of the country.

Socially conscious films recognised in annual SIMA awards

The annual SIMA Awards are back to once again honour the works of content creators pushing the boundaries of social and political storytelling.

Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction

In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans.

Mine dumps are making us sick, say Joburg residents

Tens of thousands of poor South Africans living in the shadow of vast mine dumps around Johannesburg are being exposed to toxic substances such as arsenic, lead and uranium.

Water crisis demands immediate policy coherence

The harsh reality of both the Cape Town and Ugu water crises are now starting to sink in.

Storm Eleanor batters Europe, bringing chaos and destruction

Winter storm Eleanor swept across Europe on Wednesday, bringing death, damage and disruption, snarling transport networks and cutting power to tens of thousands of people.

Graphene-based sieve turns seawater into drinking water

Ateam of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from water. The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water.

Why is water sacred to Native Americans?

For Native Americans, water does not only sustain life – it is sacred.

Two people dead in Gauteng storm

Two have died in Gauteng’s recent storm, said Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo during a media conference in Johannesburg.

Level 6 water restrictions in effect for Cape Town

Level 6 water restrictions are now in full swing in Cape Town. Details were outlined in a recent statement from the Western Cape Provincial Government Gazette.


$180bn investment in plastic factories feeds global packaging binge

The global plastic binge which is already causing widespread damage to oceans, habitats and food chains, is set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years after multibillion dollar investments in a new generation of plastics plants in the US.

OUTA calls for treasury to pay for Cape Town water fix

The City of Cape Town should force the national government to pay for bulk water infrastructure‚ instead of introducing a “punitive and illegal” property tax or levy to cover up national and provincial mismanagement‚ OUTA says.
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