By Marli Naidoo
A disturbingly large number of South Africans do not have access to clean drinking water. This does not only apply to people living under the breadline. More and more people use water purification systems in their houses our buy all their drinking water.
Many towns and parts of cities are often without water and regular droughts over large parts of the country cause taps to run dry. The idea that households should be able to obtain, purify and store their own water independently is becoming more and more appealing and essential. There are various ways of doing this.
Boreholes are common and can last 8–10 years. The only drawback is that it is expensive to set up and the deeper one has to drill, the more expensive it becomes. You have to install a pump to pump out your water. It can be driven by solar energy or electricity, or you can use a cheaper, traditional manual pump or a lovely traditional windmill. The final expenditure will be your storage unit. You will have to lay pipes to and from your water tank and install the necessary pipes to your taps.
A much cheaper way of getting water is by catching rain water and storing it in a water tank. A simple system that catches all the water that lands on your roof could work well. You will purify this water afterwards. Unfortunately this method is effective only when there is not a drought.
Natural fountains are simply wonderful. The water costs nothing and an uncomplicated pipe system can lead the water to your house. One of the few problems is that natural fountains are scarce and that the land on which they occur is much sought-after and expensive. During a drought in the area they can also run dry.
Off Grid DIY took it one step further to find a cheap solution during a water crisis. They designed a system through which you can get 5–10 litres of fresh water a day by desalinating sea water. This is done by boiling sea water by means of solar power and then condensing the steam. You need a flat solar panel and a container. The container must be filled with salt water and the water must be heated. The drinking water must be retained and stored or used directly. Their website explores different ways of setting up this simple system yourself.
Water is scarce and some people experience the crisis more directly and devastatingly than others. If it is at all possible, it will benefit you and your family to set up an independent water system right now.
Tiny Living Life: https://tinylivinglife.com/2020/03/learn-how-to-build-off-grid-water-system/
Rain Harvest: https://www.rainharvest.co.za/2013/09/water-tanks-off-grid-some-tips-ideas/
Off Grid DIY: https://offgriddiy.co.za/diy-design-for-solar-seawater-desalinator/