Gauteng! Swop your luggage for water when coming to thirsty Cape Town

2017-12-12 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cape Town - The water crisis in the Cape Metropole has gotten the creative juices pumping in various sectors, but Siemens may have just dropped the best campaign so far.

From a cute poem for #WatershedWednesday to a Bloemfontein hotel offering water to guests on their way to the drought-stricken city, there's been a lot of initiatives to raise awareness around the situation and implement water-saving measures. 

WATCH: This is what the City of Cape Town's plan is for Day Zero

Siemens AirDrop is taking a more direct approach, appealing to the Gautengers who will be disembarking from OR Tambo Airport to their holiday fun in Cape Town for the festive season. On 15 December, for one day only, passengers will be able to exchange 5 kilogrammes of their luggage for 5 litres of water, which will be flown to Cape Town with them.

Participants can have their luggage weighed at the Siemens AirDrop stand (next to Airports Company SA Info Desk) at the airport, and if your luggage has 5kg to spare, you get to exchange it for the water. Few people actually use their full bag allowance, thus making this a great way to get the most out of our allowance for a good cause.

“By simply exchanging unused luggage kilos for water, we hope to ‘airlift’ around 5000 litres of drinking water to the city in a matter of hours.  It is this kind of ingenuity that has made us a global leader in intelligent water management.” says Keshin Govender, Head of Communications for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa. 

The hope is that the stunt will highlight the plight of the city to non-Capetonians, and convince them to use water sparingly. 

ALSO SEE: Cape Water Crisis: Bloem hotel pays it forward by donating water to guest coming to the Cape

When arriving in Cape Town, participants can either collect their guilt-free Jozi water for use on their holiday, or they can give it back to AirDrop at their collection stand in the arrivals area. This water will be donated to Gift of the Givers, who recently opened an aquifer project in the drought-stricken Beaufort West. The town had run out of surface water and has become entirely dependent on borehole water.

“Only through ingenuity can we overcome the constraints of outdated and wasteful methods. AirDrop is an example of what can be accomplished if we apply this type of thinking to all industries across the country,” says Govender. Siemens has many systems working in the water industry that try to reduce energy use, avoid water loss and utilise resources better.

WATCH: #WatershedWednesday: 'Can I really afford to flush away my wee?'

Cape Town might be voted the best city on earth and tourists numbers are expected to increase to the Mother City over the Festive Season, but the extra influx of tourists - international and domestic - will put a heavy strain on the scarce water supply.

Currently dam storage is sitting at 35,1%, with 25,1% usable water. This is down 1% from last week, and people's daily consumption is 111 million litres of water over the target of 500 million. 

Day Zero is the day when dam levels reach 13,5 % and the City will turn off most of the taps. Residents will have to queue for water. It is set at 20 May 2018 unless everyone starts saving water aggressively.

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