15 months later…

…and while I was away this weekend, this idea was floated (no pun intended) once more.

Cue several (or more) twitter messages, a couple of twitter DMs and even a Whatsapp.

The news story in question details an ambitious plan to capture an iceberg and then tow it to Cape Town before mining it and selling it to the city to enhance the pitiful local water supply.

But only 10% of “their” “idea” is original.
The other 90%, hidden beneath the surface, blatantly rips me off.

In fact, the only two differences between this consortium’s recently announced proposed methodology and mine from 15 months ago, is that they plan to leave their iceberg out at sea and pump water to tankers to bring it ashore (I’m going to flatten the Franschhoek Valley and use gravity) and that they (stupidly) haven’t considered offsetting the cost of this challenging project by selling the final product in small bottles to craft brewers and achingly trendy Woodstock residents.

Still, those omissions are to their detriment and are surely not enough to convince any reasonable court of law that this consortium hasn’t ripped off my amazing idea, and thus I’m looking forward to being flush (only when it’s brown though) with cash real soon now.

Water bill

I’ve been quieter about the Cape Town water crisis recently as the threat of Day Zero has all but evaporated (currently put back as far as 9th July). But we’re not out of the woods yet, and nor will we be for at least a couple of years, so saving water is still a hugely important thing to be doing.

Our municipal bill arrived today and I’m really impressed with the efforts our family has made.

That equates to 34.5 litres per person per day, well inside the 50l pppd limit within which we are supposed to be sticking. (Just as well, looking at how expensive those last 2.2kl were.)

And that’s not even including the beagle, which has a Category 4 water utilisation rating: notoriously hydroconsumptive.

This most recent meter reading has helped me understand two things: firstly, there’s the realisation that it can be done. You can live a “Western” lifestyle on less than 50 litres of water each day. Sure, it’s not as straightforward as life without water restrictions, and in fact some of it is actually a bit of a pain, but it can be done. Secondly, it’s made me realise just how blasé we were about using water previously. And fair enough, to be honest, because there was actually plenty of it to go around.

I suspect that I’m not alone in these epiphanies, and whether or not Cape Town runs out of water in a couple of months time, the habits of thousands – possibly even millions – of residents will have been forever changed.

And that’s got to be good news.

 

UPDATE: There have been some questions. I’m happy to answer them.

No, we were not away on holiday. We didn’t even go away for a weekend. We were here every day.

Yes, a beagle. I know.

I checked back to an old bill for the same period in 2012: pre-water restrictions. I was amazed to find that this bill represents a 94% reduction in the amount of water we used, compared to then.
i.e. We used as much water in just 40 hours in February 2012 as we did in the whole 29 day period this year. Equal parts of incredible and terrifying.

Yes, I’ve double checked. Yes, it’s amazing.

We’re not really doing anything too draconian, just being very aware every time a tap gets turned on. It’s clearly working.

And no, we’re not SEWing. In fact, since the kids are banned from using drinking water from their school, we’ve been giving them more to take from home.

6000.co.za on grida.no

Indeed.

While I was enjoying the hospitality of the local… er… hospital yesterday*, some of my recent photos of Theewaterskloof

…were being used (with permissions and credits, I hasten to add) on the website of Norwegian environmental NGO, GRID Arendal.

GRID-Arendal was established in 1989 to support environmentally sustainable development by working with UN Environment and other partners. We communicate environmental knowledge that strengthens management capacity and motivates decision-makers to act. We transform environmental data into credible, science-based information products, delivered through innovative communication tools and capacity building services.

Now you know.

 

GRID-Arendal have been doing a lot of work on water provision and sustainability across Africa, and this article (with my photos) details Cape Town’s current plight for their readers around the world.

As I mentioned earlier in the year, I’m also looking forward to having some of my snaps published in other publications this year (and some in a book due for publication in September 2019!).

 

* with apparently what should be a positive outcome [champagne bottle emoji] [I’ll keep you informed emoji].

Drought crossword

Incoming from Mr Crossword himself:

I’ve uploaded a new crossword – attempted a Cape Town drought theme.

And he had. And he did. Here you go:

 

A couple of genius clues in there this month. 5 across and 4 down were particular favourites. And I think it must be easier than usual because I managed most of it this time around. Enjoy!

Still struggling to get this to appear on the homepage, so if you can’t see the puzzle above, simply click here to reload.

Religion and Rain

It’s been a hectic few days in South Africa as we all await the allegedly imminent departure of corrupt old bastard Jacob Zuma. In fact, by the time you read this, he may already have departed.

Or not.

But all of that excitement has been taking our attention away – as much as anything ever can – from the water crisis, which has now apparently been solved.

Or has it?

As reported earlier in the week, Day Zero “The Day When The Taps Will Be Turned Off” and/or “The Day We May Have To Queue For Water” was moved back by almost a month. This was due to quite a lot of the Eikenhof Dam in Grabouw being released into the Palmiet River to feed into the Cape Town supply, while at the same time the agricultural sector announced that they would be using less water over the next few months.

Or was it?

Because while it seems fairly obvious that these interventions will have a marked effect (like for example, moving Day Zaro back about a month), arrogant and loudmouthed charlatan Pastor Mboro says it’s all down to him.

I want to pray for dams in Cape Town and prove that prayer works. On April 12 the dams will not be on 0%. They (anyone who has predicated that day zero will be on April 12) are not God. The problem is that they didn’t consult with God. To show how effective my prayer is they have now moved the date from  12 April to 12 May.

What a dickhead.

The thing is, other loudmouthed charlatans have a different view on things. Take Angus Buchan for example. He must be amazed that Day Zero has moved out, because he told us this week that:

God is angry with Cape Town

And why?

He’s had enough! …Of the abuse of women and children, gangsterism, lawlessness – He’s had enough!

Well, haven’t we all?

This has opened a right can of worms though, because other areas not suffering with drought include Johannesburg, which isn’t exactly known for being the most law-abiding place on the planet.
Also Nottingham, and that’s a real scummy dump.

But pointing out that sort of thing doesn’t fit the narrative, so we’re expected to ignore it.

Angus’ mass prayer meeting, “paid for by God and guarded by gangsters” (I know, right?), will:

…come against crime, murder, disrespect for human life, prostitution, alcoholism, drug addiction, racialism and hatred.

and will be held in Mitchells Plain:

because it is the hottest place in South Africa.

The SA Weather Service begs to differ:

But who cares about facts when you have faith?

Sadly Angus can only get to us on March 24th, so I guess that we’ll have to rely on Pastor Mboro to fill in the gaps in the intervening seven weeks or so. Although some people might be wondering why Angus is coming anyway, given that it was only in a couple of months ago in November that there was this:

By March next year there will be no drought in the Western Cape and the dams will be full, said well-known lay preacher and potato farmer Angus Buchan as he prayed for “spiritual and physical rain” in Parliament on Friday.

So that March 24th date doesn’t quite fit.

His prayer followed shortly after he alleged that a woman rose from the dead after he prayed for her.

Oh. OK then.
I think we’ve found the level.

What an arsehole.

So, to sum up: we’ve got Mboro til May 12th, Angus from March 24th (although also from March 1st) and… oh… and the Department of Water and Sanitation this weekend:

Yep. Devoid of any other practical plan aside from filling the pockets of her corrupt colleagues, the Minister has resorted to begging us to pray.

What a completely useless individual.

The really, really irritating thing is that we are actually forecast some rain on Friday night. Normally I would be over the moon, but sadly, this is going to be used by each and every one of these dubious characters as firm evidence that God is listening and acting. The fact that He’s been well on his way to killing every plant in the Western Cape for the past three years will escape them, as will the fact that previous efforts of this kind (and there have been many) have completely failed to make any difference at all.

I predict some quotes:

Pastor Mboro: “I came to Cape Town, Day Zero was moved back a month and then it rained as well. Boom. My latest DVD is available in the foyer. Mind my R2 million BMW on your way out.”

Angus Buchan: “I said I was coming to Cape Town, Day Zero was moved back a month and then it rained as well. And I raised a woman from the dead. Boom. My latest book is available in the foyer. Don’t be gay.”

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane: “I said to pray because I needed to avoid giving any practical assistance to the DA-led Western Province, Day Zero was moved back a month and then it rained as well. Frankly, I’m rather annoyed.”

What’s actually happening is that a cold front is hitting the Cape.

But it was sent by God, obviously.