South Africa is prone to droughts and severe water-scarcity, so its critical that businesses learn to use and manage this precious resource carefully. With the UN’s International World Water Day coming up on 22 March 2021, this issue is being given the recognition it deserves – although it needs year-round attention to effectively address it. Sun International’s Durban-based Sibaya Casino has taken this issue to heart. Starting in 2014, the venue began to make several operational changes to improve its water storage and recovery, while also ensuring it is used more effectively.
“We have to accept that South Africa is an arid country and rainfall patterns are becoming less predictable, so every drop of water is precious.”General Manager Myan Moodley explains, “We have to accept that South Africa is an arid country and rainfall patterns are becoming less predictable, so every drop of water is precious. We applaud initiatives such as World Water Day which draw attention to the problem, but as custodians of our environment we at Sibaya believe we should respect and conserve our natural resources every day. Our management is actively involved in rooting out wasteful mind sets among our staff and inculcating a culture of environmental conservation and sustainability.” Sibaya’s water saving programme includes a water recovery system that catches wastewater from the cooling towers and reuses it for irrigation on the property. In 2015 a 250 Kilolitre reservoir was constructed, followed a 450 kilolitre reservoir in 2019. This has increased the complex’s domestic storage capacity from 300 kilolitres to 1 000 kilolitres. To help reduce water use across the complex, water and energy saving showerheads have been installed. These aerate the flow of water, which uses less water but still delivers a powerful spray. Twin flush toilets also help to reduce water use by as much as 50% per flush. Additionally, push taps have been installed back of house areas to prevent taps running unnecessarily, while water pressure throughout the complex has been reduced to help curb consumption.
“We stopped using municipal water supply for irrigation in early 2015.”The casino is testing rainwater harvesting from its roofs, and captures condensation from its air conditioning system. This is stored in four 20 kilolitre storage tanks for various purposes. “We stopped using municipal water supply for irrigation in early 2015 and reduced the depth of our ponds to lower the water volume. We use grey water captured from the cooling towers to irrigate our gardens as well as to wash waste bins. Installation work has been completed to run grey water from the cooling towers to a public toilet so that clean, potable water does not have to be used for flushing of toilets and urinals,” adds Ravin Sahadev, Maintenance Manager at Sibaya. “We closely monitor water consumption and trends across the resort to ensure that problems in the reticulation system are quickly identified and remedied to prevent wastage. Our goal is to ensure that no water is wasted and that every drop is used mindfully,” he adds.