Stellenbosch 360 applauds major ongoing water saving

Annemarie Ferns

Stellenbosch 360 CEO, Annemarie Ferns, has commended the community of Stellenbosch for its water-saving efforts.

“We are so grateful that our members, like many other businesses, institutions, and residents of Stellenbosch, have persisted in extensive and often expensive water-wise measurements and efforts to assist our municipal authorities in successfully bringing about a massive ongoing water-savings campaign for our town and surrounds,” Ms Ferns said in a statement.

“This follows in the footsteps of the unanimous outcome of our panel discussion on #WorldWaterDay earlier the year in March that Stellenbosch was not faced with a ‘Day Zero’ scenario. It was then decided that Stellenbosch 360 should communicate a positive message to their national and international tourism target groups stating that the town and surrounds have sufficient water reserves to do business as usual, albeit with a few practical but comfortable adjustments to water-usage,” she said.

Ms Ferns said that it is presently reported by the responsible authorities that the good early May and June winter rains, water conservation by businesses, farmers, residents and government stakeholders, increased groundwater usage in the Western Cape via boreholes, desalination plants coming online and other water reduction measures, all pointing to a lower risk of water problems in 2019 which could also have a positive impact on tourism next year.

Looking ahead, the latest weather forecasts indicate a much welcomed wetter winter rainfall this year.

She said that dam water levels in the Stellenbosch catchment area have significantly improved month-on-month, as endorsed by the Stellenbosch Municipality’s message of June 26 that “ a water saving of 51.6% when compared to usage before restrictions ” has been recorded.

She stressed that this is indeed good news for all and sundry involved in the local tourism industry and related economic sectors, as tourism is still one of the best performing sectors in the country’s economy, and obviously vital to the region’s economic growth.

“It is vital that we all embark on restoring confidence in Stellenbosch as a vibrant all-year holiday, travel, adventure and business destination that can cater for all the needs of local and international visitors and the global travel trade. We request all role-players in the tourism industry to assist us in projecting this message to the world.

“We know that the diverse winter-time offerings of our region also make Stellenbosch one of the most attractive options available in South Africa at this time of the year,” Ms Ferns said.