Global-Spin News

How a Spin-off wants to save Water in Drought Situations

How a Spin-off wants to save Water in Drought Situations
Monday, 6 November 2017

In places such as South Africa’s Western Cape where there is a water crisis due to drought, saving water is essential for long-term survival [1]. Due to the situation that South Africa currently faces, there is an alert that will last at least three months, but could be extended if the crisis persists [2].

This means that citizens have to be prepared to save water and try to combat the worst drought that the area has seen in over a century [3]. Authorities in this zone have now limited user consumption to 87 litres per day; however, one of the biggest problems of measuring this amount is that water meters are only read about once a month. [1]

This leads to the problem that many times we are not aware of how much water we are using for daily tasks. In order to try and help people understand their water use, before the meter is officially read, a spin-off from the Stellenbosch University is developing a ‘smart meter’ that measures water use by the minute. The intention of this device is to build awareness of water use and help the community save water. [4]

However, it has proven to be difficult to convince people to take up smart metering in their homes. Testing the product has begun with positive results (up to 68% reduction in a local coffee shop), but without country-wide expansion yet. [1] South Africa’s Western Cape is in need of a solution to reduce its water use—this smart meter, if accepted by the community as a whole, could be an answer.