Learners lead the way in water savings | Western Cape Education Department
Learners lead the way in water savings

Learners lead the way in water savings

5 September 2019

Learners from two Cape Town schools have become the teachers when it comes to saving water, after their efforts to reduce water use earned them the winning spots in the #MySmartWaterMeterChallenge.

The two schools, Nooitgedacht Primary School in Bishop Lavis and Cravenby Secondary in Elsies River, received the awards for the #MySmartWaterMeterChallenge during an event held at Nooitgedacht Primary, and attended by Premier Alan Winde and MEC Debbie Schafer on Tuesday, 03 September 2019.

They recorded the highest water savings out of 42 schools entered into the competition.

The project encouraged schools to save water by conducting maintenance on the water infrastructure, and then installing water meters, which encouraged behavioural changes among staff and learners.

Nooitgedacht Primary School Reduced their water consumption by 55.23% or 158 kilolitres over a four-month period. This represents a monetary saving of R15 365, which the school is able to use for other priorities.

At Cravenby Secondary school, a 33% and 400KL reduction, valued at R38 915, was recorded.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde said: “These awards just go to show the impact that every person doing their bit, can play in developing our resilience as a province. Our dam levels may have improved since we started this project, but we need to continue to be aware of how we use water as a precious resource. Well done to all the staff and learners at our winning schools and at all the schools that participated in the project.

As a government, we encourage all of our citizens to take responsibility, and by actively working to save water, these schools have also created significant cost savings which they can now put towards other projects and priorities,” he said.

In total, all of the schools participating in the project have contributed to a combined savings of over R40 million and almost 550 million litres of water over the seven-month duration of the entire project.

Minister Debbie Schafer said, “We started this initiative at a time where our lives depended on saving every drop of water that we possibly could. I was excited to launch the school water meter system and I am even more excited to see how, more than 18 months later, how much water and money schools have saved. I am impressed how we all pulled together to meet the unprecedented crisis that we faced.  The smart water meter initiative is an excellent example of the private sector rising to the challenge of a crisis, and working with all parties on a solution.  I would like to see this project continue, in line with our commitment to sustainable schools”.

Special thanks must go to Shoprite, Bridgiot, and the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town, the team at Cape Talk, as well as every company and individual that has pledged to this water meter initiative. Their support is greatly appreciated.