Dry but not out!
Effective Water Saving Education is now a formal part of daily life here on the West Coast and the Western Cape, not only for locals and visitors but for attractions too. There is no shortage of Water Saving Tips and one doesn’t need to look far to find locals discussing how they are saving water.
West Coast Way is a unique collection of themed routes that can be enjoyed when going on an adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trip or a West Coast Holiday. Our 6 Routes offer the “twists”, or loops – and each features its own variety of carefully chosen attractions which fall within themed Cape West Coast Way Routes: included is the Tractor Route, Berg Route, Foodie Route, Culture Route, Wild Route and NEW Cape Route. Many of the 101 road trip stops along these routes apply innovative ways to save water, making them leaders in responsible tourism.
Cape Town and the Cape West Coast are currently experiencing a drought, which has led to a serious water crisis. The region is severely water-stressed, and this has an impact on both locals and tourists. But that doesn’t mean that we are not open for business!
The government, locals, and businesses have all been working together to ensure that we save as much of this precious natural resource so that the show can go on.
West Coast Way Businesses Rise To The Occasion:
The West Coast Way attraction and accommodation owners are sensitive to the needs of visitors and introduce water use guidelines and water saving actions consistently and push guests as far as possible to walk the path to reduction.
Chantal Steward, manager of The Lodge at Atlantic Beach in Melkbosstrand, explains the water situation to all visitors and how reducing daytime swimming cuts back on water use. She says a more tactful approach would be to say pool usage is closed between 10 am and 4 pm but encouraged between 6 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 8 pm. With our long summer days, this can work and does work and has been implanted by them with success.
Other focus points at The Lodge at Atlantic Beach include how they have made a light-hearted ‘game’ with the bath plugs, which they have swopped with quirky plastic toy animals and displaying saving water ‘like a local’ initiative by the local government. They have also introduced air rated taps reducing water use by 70%. Their gardens contain water-wise indigenous plants and the lawn has been replaced with synthetic grass – already mid-2017. https://www.westcoastway.co.za/lodge-atlantic-beach-waterwise-accommodation/Read more here about their water-saving efforts.
Carmen Lerm, the founder of West Coast Way, says that “Events offer huge economic opportunities to small towns. Event organizers can sell water, or better still ask visitors to bring their own water bottles. We need to clearly communicate that we are open for business and tourism.”
West Coast Way Water Warriors
Darling Brew is Africa’s first Carbon Neutral Brewery
Darling Brew, a craft brewery based in the town of Darling in the Western Cape, has been officially declared as Africa’s first carbon neutral brewery.
The brewery is expected to offset a total of 687.96 tons of CO2 over the next year. This will be equivalent to having eliminated the same amount of carbon from the environment as 17 829 tree seedlings having grown for 10 years.
Mart-Mari Wicht from Blue Bay Lodge in Saldanha Bay actively advises guests to re-use plastic water bottles to reduce waste by refilling it at the tap. It is interesting to note that Blue Bay Lodge has a large water storage facility partly under the Lodge which was built by Mart-Mari’s grandfather more than 20 years ago because he wanted to make sure that there is always water available as the West Coast always stands under threat of low rainy seasons and the ‘show must go on’.
Disa Lodge in Darling have natural soft borehole water for all showers with solar powered geysers and provide guests with bottled drinking water.
Darling Lodge has recently been awarded, by West Coast Way, as our first ‘Water Warrior’ in their ongoing Facebook and Website campaigns that educate visitors about being Water Wise.
Thali Thali Game Lodge have their own water resources in the form of borehole water.
!Khwa ttu, manages their water source with extreme care, using borehole water and are Fair Trade Tourism Certified.
Evita se Perron installed 2 water tanks to gather rain water and have also installed hand sanitisers in all bathrooms.
Club Mykonos in Langebaan is consistent in providing water saving visual communication throughout the resort.
Kardoesie N7 Countrystop have their own borehole water and do not use municipal water.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Saldanha Bay converted their swimming pool into a saltwater pool, long staying guests can request that linen be changed after the 3rd night, all bath plugs are removed and only given on request. Their staff received training and information on water saving initiatives so they can implement it at home and they use grey water for their grass and gardens.
Crayfish Trails focuses on the West Coast Way Wild Route highlighting the Sustainable Seafood Track. Get close to nature while you discover this beautiful part of the West Coast. And remember, do not eat Crayfish, they are highly endangered and on the SASSI red list.
Yzerfontein Accommodation wash less and use the 2nd load of spinning water from the washing machine for the next laundry load. They have packed away tablecloths, linens and loose carpets that usually need regular washing and encourage short showers to guests.
Daisy Darling put up eye-catching posters to inform their guests on how they can help save water, and have water saving shower heads fitted in all bathrooms. Water from the roof is filtered into the swimming pool and their garden is kept healthy and green with water routed from guests bathrooms.
River Studio have an “open to the public” art studio with a restaurant next door. Marina Clunie, owner and artist has put hand sanitizer and wet wipes in the toilest for customers to use and she has put up applicable signs to help save water.
Saving water is a way of life on the Cape West Coast and if you are planning a visit to Cape Town or the West Coast Way, here are a few Water Saving Tips you can implement:
Water Saving Tips
• Always stay in places that are water-wise (those that have proper water-saving management in place).
• Re-use your towels instead of taking a new one daily.
• Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth and use a cup of water to rinse.
• Don’t flush with potable water as it uses 6-14 litres. Collect grey water when you shower (quickly) and use that.
• Limit your showers to under 90 seconds and take stop-start ones to reduce water use more. And remember no baths!
• Use Hand Sanitizers to clean your hands after your loo visit.
• Report leaking taps and toilets immediately.
• Take a dip in the ocean and tidal pools to rinse off and freshen up rather than showering.
• Don’t use plastic water bottles. Buy a quality glass bottle that you can carry around, refill and reuse, as South Africa’s municipal water is perfectly safe.
Do you have any other Water Saving Tips? Let us know in the comments.
Keen to take it to another level?
It’s becoming more and more important to think about the marks we leave on the places that we travel to. After all, we all want future generations to be able to enjoy the beautiful places we visit.
Did you know, the Cape West Coast is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom? This unique area is home to thousands of species of plants, including fynbos which is indigenous to the region and found nowhere else in the world and several internationally recognised places of importance such as the Langebaan Lagoon and Verloren Vlei which are Ramsar sites and home to hundreds of bird species, including Palearctic migratory birds from northern Europe and Siberia. Find out more about the biodiversity of the West Coast here.
How you can be a responsible traveller:
• Say no to plastic pollution. Don’t use single straws in your drinks and rather use a reusable shopper than a plastics bag.
• Leave only footprints behind. Take all your trash with you or use the bins provided.
• Be one with the West Coast Way. Our tourism attractions thrive in harmony with nature and the biodiversity of the area, and we always value your like-mindedness.
• Take a walk on the wild side. But don’t interact with, or disturb any animals.
• Keep on the straight and narrow. Stick to the paths, don’t trample flora or pick the flowers.
• Local is Lekker (nice)! Discover and enjoy the indigenous sustainable and seasonal foods.
• Don’t rock the lobster. The West Coast Rock lobster are endangered (check the SASSI list for legally eatable seafood).
• Fish friendly. Always take all your hooks, lines, bait and trash with you.
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. Explore a unique collection of 101 road trip stops along themed routes by planning a self drive trip or guided tour for a nature and adventure-filled Cape West Coast vacation. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Tractor Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route, the West Coast Way Wild Route – as well as the newly launched Cape Way Route – all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many.
For more information on West Coast Way, the other routes on offer, and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za o