Gauteng and NW Province

National water week

Two creative Johannesburg learners will next month become proud owners of state-of-the-art laptop computers while several others will walk away with vouchers amounting to thousands of rands as part of this year’s National Water Week celebrations.
This year the national water awareness week – spearheaded by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) to reconcientise communities about the value of water – will be held from 18-24 March.
The department and other state organs – including the City of Johannesburg’s water entity, Johannesburg Water (JW) – will use the campaign to once again emphasise the need to conserve water and highlight the role that this scarce resource plays in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa.
This year’s theme is: “Water is Life: Respect it, Conserve it, Enjoy it.”
This theme is encapsulated in the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (2040 GDS 2040), which highlights the fact that water scarcity in Johannesburg has reached such high proportions that the City has to import the resource from as far afield as Lesotho, increasing its costs.
The strategy commits the City to ensuring that by 2040, Johannesburg is “water-wise and water-secure”.
As part of its 2013 awareness campaign, JW invited budding artists and writers from Grades R to 12 in a city-wide school competition to submit essays or drawings on water conservation.
The Joburg Water School Competition provides learners with a unique opportunity to represent their understanding of water provision and sanitation services. At the close of the competition earlier this week, thousands of entries had been received from hundreds of schools from around the city.
The announcement of the winners will form part of the highlights of National Water Week celebrations in Johannesburg.
Two learners in the grades 8-12 range will each win a laptop computer plus a 3G card for demonstrating in their essays the importance of water conservation in South Africa.
An equally creative learner in the grades 5-7 range will be awarded a desktop computer for an essay on ways to save water to avoid water restrictions.
Winners in the grades R-4 range will each be rewarded with an educational gift hamper and a visit to the Johannesburg Zoo.
South Africa is fundamentally a semi-arid and water scarce country, with an average annual rainfall of about 490mm, half of the world average. Of significance to note is the fact that only 9% of this rainfall is converted into river runoff.

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