Harry’s fast facts to save water


March 2014


Did you know that there are children who never get to see rain or drink fresh water? Fresh water is very valuable to the planet and yet we waste so much of this precious liquid by the things we do and even things we eat – without even realising it.

“You can can actually save water for the planet by eating more vegetables,” says Harry the Hominid, Maropeng’s spokeshominid. “Maybe you have heard about a carbon footprint and how this is affecting our climate,” he says.  “But, did you know that you also get a water footprint?  A water footprint looks at how much freshwater we use to produce the things we use  or eat everyday.”

He says there is a difference between direct water use and indirect water use.  “Direct water use  is the water you use for your own personal needs like washing, laundry, cooking and indirect water use refers to how much water we use to produce the items we use or eat every day.”


The foods we eat often have a high water footprint because lots of water is used to grow the plants and animals that we eat. For example, it takes only 180 litres of water to produce a kilogram of tomatoes, 100 litres of water per kilogram of potatoes but it takes 2 400 litres of water to make a 100g bar of chocolate and 16 000 litres of water just to produce one kilogram of beef!

“So if we eat less meat and more vegetables, we save water,” says Harry

To celebrate Water Week Harry suggests these water-saving tips:

  • Try to eat more vegetables and less meat.
  • Take shorter showers
  • Fix dripping taps and toilets
  • Collect rain water and grey water (dirty bath- and dishwater) and use that instead to irrigate the garden


“If we all try to save water there will be more water to go around and no one will be left thirsty. Let’s work together to keep our water footprint as small as possible,” says Harry.


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