• Staff writer


Updated: Dec 18, 2020

How water scarcity and climate change are changing the way we think about water

We need water. It is essential for the flourishing of all life on earth, and yet we already do not have enough. This simple fact combined with predicted climatic events, such as megadroughts and increased desertification in Sub-Saharan Africa, exposes a larger challenge.

To have enough water in the right places, at the right times, for how our world is projected to change in the next five years, let alone the next 25, we need to start taking saving our water as seriously as we take saving our money.

Our water needs are already constrained due to a growing agricultural industry, rapid urbanisation and exploding populations in areas already deprived of water. Despite rainfall variability being well documented in Africa, it is estimated that by 2025, 52 % of countries worldwide expected to be facing water shortages, will be African. This is a clear indication that we are failing to realise the importance of our limited water resources.

COO of the leading water tank manufacturer Abeco Tanks, Mannie Ramos Jnr, believes that even as we head into our rainy season, we need to take a proactive stance towards saving water.

“There is a shift taking place where people are starting to change the way they think about water and planning ahead, especially after years of drought in Cape Town. Even though the City of Cape Town has lifted water restrictions, the reality of facing day zero has made Capetonians more aware of water scarcity,” he says.

While awareness is known to drive change, it only happens when closely followed by action.

“If we view water as a scarce resource, even in times of oversupply, and make sure to conserve and plan head for times when that resource is not freely available, then we are better prepared to deal with the water crisis,” adds Ramos Jnr.

The solution?

The solution is simple and effective - water storage tanks. Water tanks have been used for centuries, with the earliest water storage systems documented in the Bronze Age, 3000 years BC.

Water tanks are used in a multitude of applications such as drinking water, fire suppression, agricultural irrigation, chemical manufacturing and rainwater harvesting, to name a few.

He notes that using water tanks for rainwater harvesting can also reduce an organisation’s environmental impact, especially as climate change and water scarcity are challenges to achieving sustainable development on the continent.

Having said that, it is difficult to fathom why all organisations, industry and government departments do not have water storage tanks to protect their operations.

Water tanks are a highly effective answer to the solution and with the range of capacities offered, from 20 000 litres up to 10 million litres, any organisation – small or large - community or residential, can save water.

While it is good that the South Africa’s National Climate Change Response White Paper and the National Development Plan are prioritising the immediate and observed threats of climate change to the country’s society, economy and environment, without proactively saving water through rain harvesting, water tanks, water recycling, and changing our attitude towards water, little progress will be made.

The negative impact of our negligent attitudes towards continuous access to this irreplaceable resource is but a drop in the ocean in comparison to what will happen if we don’t start saving water and start implementing, sustainable, water continuity solutions such as large-scale water tanks.

About Abeco

Abeco Tanks has been trusted for nearly 40 years to protect against water scarcity. The company’s steel water storage tanks are found in over 35 countries across the globe, including Africa, Central America and the Middle East. Abeco is a private, family owned business together with equity stakeholder and funding partners, Investec Private Capital and Global Capital Empowerment Fund.

Blue chip clients include Anglo American, Sasol, Chevron, FNB, BP, JP Morgan, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and Investec.

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