Climate change is brokering a new reality;
Think about it; the academy uses a tremendous amount of water every day. We require water for restrooms, drinking water faucets, residences, dining area, laboratories, playing fields, lawns, swimming pool and the farm.
Water demand continues to grow while access to usable sources remains relatively static, with only 1% of the total being available in rivers, lakes, the atmosphere, and underground wells for human consumption. The usage of water is increasing, but its availability is decreasing. Rainfall patterns are changing. By 2050, the water demand will rise from 1,000 billion cubic meters to 1,400-1,500 billion cubic meters. The water available per human will be halved.
Therefore, the academy must actively engage in water conservation. Efforts to conserve water must be championed by both students and staff and backed by detailed action plans on reducing the current yearly consumption. For example, a slight reduction of just four cubic meters per person within the academy would save the school up to 30% of current annual consumption.
So it makes both financial and environmental sense to manage water use effectively, and where better to start this than in our campus community. The academy is on the way to drought resiliency through heavy investment in:
• Water storage
• Rainwater capture.
• Reclamation (wastewater treatment plant)
• Piping water from rivers and dams nearby.
• Go low flow by installing aerators.
However, focus on building and renovating infrastructure may overshadow the vital need to conserve water:
Water-saving tips for students and staff to;
• Be vigilant, turning off running taps and showers while reporting leaks. A single leaking toilet can waste more than 100litres of water every day, while a dripping faucet or showerhead wastes up to 1,000 litres a week.
• Raise awareness of the importance of water by posting eye-catching stickers and signs to promote water conservation.
• Turn off the water when washing your hands.
• In labs and art rooms, clean up with buckets of water.
• In-house water audits conducted with staff who are knowledgeable about water systems.
• Plant eco-friendly gardens and plant more trees.
• By extension, some of the solutions might be expensive to implement initially, but the benefits will begin to show in the long run. Therefore, let us strive to make the academy the epicentre of climate adaptation on all fronts, even water conservation.