The Impact Water Restrictions have had on the Wine Industry in the Western Cape

The water shortage in the Western Cape has taken its toll on everybody including the wine farms and wine producers in areas like Paarl and Stellenbosch. However those who are suffering the most and need to take urgent steps to conserve water are those who own or run their own business. There are some innovative entrepreneurs like John Jager of Jaguar Products who has developed a new style of rainwater harvesting tank that has been met with huge success. While the tanks are not necessarily the answer to water shortages experienced on wine producing farms, they are certainly proving extremely effective in reducing water consumption in homes around the popular wine producing estates.

We need to constantly remind ourselves that the water shortage we are experiencing is here to stay. It is therefore imperative that all businesses run a campaign making sure all staff members are aware of the problem. Then they need to educate their staff on ways to save water. A great idea is to provide an incentive, have a reward for the one who saves the most water in the month.

It is also important that all your notice boards throughout the company have important facts about the water shortage. Placing posters and stickers in all the bathrooms and kitchens where staff congregates. This will make them aware, in their leisure time, of the need for water conservation. All businesses should consider the function water has to play in their various organizations. Then plan how to manage their water to its full potential. It is important that all organizations need to manage the water usage by their employees to reduce water shortages. Such as drinking water, water used for ablutions and also the water used for cleaning. The water used for these functions should be monitored and solutions for saving, such as recycling and storing water can be implemented.

It is also important to scrutinize your water bill on a regular basis. Then when you detect a sudden spike in your water cost, it is time to check for possible water leaks. The best way to save water is not to waste it. You need to immediately fix any leaking taps, pipes or appliances, and urge all your employees to report any leakages immediately. Before you go home at night check your water meters to ensure that they have stopped running. If the cost is not too high it is a good idea to install water-less urinals. Another good water saver is to install aerator taps that mix air with the water and you can save up to 50% on your water consumption. The cleaning staff must be reminded and educated to use water sparingly when washing floors or machinery.

Many small businesses, which depend on water for their services, have come up with innovative ideas for the conservation of water. The car wash franchises for example have now drastically reduced the amount of water used by using water-less car wash products. Investing in one of Jaguar Products fibreglass rainwater tanks is guaranteed to reduce your water bill as well as go a long way towards helping the efforts to reduce water usage in the Cape Town area.

For businesses that rely heavily on water for their existence, might have to consider the need for added processes and more equipment to improve their water usage. This unfortunately may result in extra expense but over time this investment will prove invaluable. There are unfortunately other problems that the business owner may have to face due to the lack of water.

These are:

  • Customer loss due to limited supply and manufacturing interruptions.
  • The loss of jobs
  • It may also result in the company relocating in order to survive

The need for the business owner to do all in their power to conserve water is vital, as to date there has been no special water restrictions imposed on them. All the proposed water restrictions have mainly targeted the domestic water user. These include domestic gardens, swimming pools, and car washing and irrigation systems.

All the water-efficient technology usage has exempted the government and business from any of the standard water restrictions imposed on the individual water user. This is of great concern as the government and business have a huge effect on the usage of water and they also need to be included in any water restriction policies made. Industry is a large sector where huge amounts of water are used on a daily basis. Innovative ways should be considered to lessen the water usage in this area. If everybody puts in the effort, both the individual and large enterprises, then we might just make it through the terrible drought conditions.

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