Gauteng and NW Province

Turning Off Lights Saves Water

Hundreds of millions of people across the globe turned off their lights for 60 minutes during earth hour as a gesture of solidarity in caring for and protecting the planet.

This symbolic act has the added benefit of saving everyone a little bit of money.

Soaring electricity prices have made opening the monthly lights and water bill a stress-inducing experience.

But what so many of us are unaware of is the intimate relationship between turning off the lights and closing the tap.

It takes water to make electricity.

Particularly in sunny South Africa where electricity is generated predominantly by coal fired power stations. This is problematic for Planet and People alike because not only is coal a non-renewable resource, but also because coal-fired electricity generation uses disproportionately more water than all other conventional methods.
What so many of us don’t realize is that a vast amount of water is used in the mining of coal. Even more water is used in cooling the machinery that generates the electricity.

And to add insult to injury, notes Mao Amis of Pegasys Strategy & Development, “if we consider that South Africa is a water scarce country, and that our critical water catchment areas are highly threatened by the mining of coal (because the highest coal deposits are located in the most important water catchment areas that contribute up to 50% of SA’s water runoff), then it’s pretty obvious that we are sitting on a double whammy…if you get the point?”

So when you turn off the lights you can smile in the knowledge that you’re closing the tap at the same time!

Author: Helen Bennett of Naked Living

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