Many parts of South Africa are facing severe drought and water restrictions. Climate change, low rainfall and densely populated urban areas all combine to create a major water shortage across South Africa. While we wait for the rain to come, our best bet is to acknowledge that water is becoming a scarce resource, and we should make every effort to preserve it.
We can all make a difference by implementing small changes in our everyday lives. With the advances in technology, anyone with a smartphone can save some drops.
As we are starting to understand the effects of global warming better, we are developing technologies that can help us build a more sustainable future. Here are two apps to help you save water.
This handy app shows water usage on a monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly basis. It measures how much water you use, and you might be surprised to learn how much goes down the drain while you’re brushing your teeth. After one month of monitoring your usage, set yourself targets to reduce your water usage.
This app was developed by the University of Cape Town in response to the dire water situation in the Western Cape. It also measures your water consumption and gives you the stats in an easy-to-read format. The app doesn’t need internet access to work, so it can be used in any household in rural or urban areas.
You can read more about the app and its development here.
Water-saving technology of the future
Smart appliances like fridges, ovens and microwaves contain sensors that can help us save water and electricity, but these items come with a price tag, making them inaccessible to most South Africans. Thanks to the advances in technology, we will soon be able to turn our dumb appliances into smart ones with one super-sensor.
A Google-funded team is developing a super-sensor to monitor and manage your home via one highly capable sensor board. The sensor works by picking up radio interference, motion, air pressure, acoustics, vibration, and a range of other things. With this information, connected apps and hardware would be able to monitor various activities in the home, and even turn off or limit usage. Real-world application is still some way off, but it’s exciting to think about the possibilities this technology holds.
The average person in South Africa uses 240 litres of water per day. Let’s make a combined effort to save water. Every drop counts.