COVID-19 and water-saving: Let’s revisit the everyday experiences of water consumption

The global pandemic (COVID-19) might partly be considered a WASH disease which requires precautionary measures such as regular hand washing, drinking more water etc.

In the past year, many parts South Africa has experienced some of the worst droughts and water shortages leading to residents relying heavily on water tanks.

According to the water and sanitation department, South Africans used more water than what the supply could provide.

Therefore, while we are washing our hands, we should keep in mind that South Africa is a water scarce country, so as to avoid water wastage.  It’s important to save this precious water resource we have currently.

In effect, increasing water shortages, intermittency of water supply, poor infrastructural networks to provide quality drinking water and the spatial splintering that characterise South Africa present a challenge towards supressing COVID-19 spread.

With the ordered national lockdown the demand for water is likely to increase as residents stay indoors and usage increases.

Post COVID-19, people are going to take hygiene much more seriously than before. People will continue to regularly wash their hands; cleaning of homes and offices will be more intense and people will most probably shower / bath much more than before.

This is a perfect time to rethink water consumption services as well as water use behaviours. This crisis provides us with an opportunity to remind ourselves on the importance of preserving water so that we always have supplies.

Smart connectivity carves a path for us to be more efficient in our use of water; effectively reducing the rate and allowing us to manage water consumption more efficiently as far as usage is connected with billing.

Many South Africans are worried about whether they will still have a job post COVID-19. This is causing citizens to be cautious on how they spend their money going forward.

Consumers are able to monitor their water consumptions in Rands and cents using the smart prepaid meters.

The value of a smart meter goes beyond just the consumer, municipalities can also benefit from smart meters by sending automatic notifications to their field teams as the leak is detected. These smart meters also enable municipalities a host of new features to better manage water, just by having near real-time meter readings.

These smart meters transmit their consumption information, which a user can then be able to access through a mobile app on their smartphone. “It is both a monitoring and management device, placing the power of consumption in the hands of the end-user,” says Edwin Sibiya, Lesira-Teq’s Chief Executive Officer. “They can track their water consumption daily or monthly on the Lesira Customer Smartphone Application, and make better decisions about how water is used in their household.”

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