Western Cape Education Department has undertaken a pilot project by installing smart water meters at 350 schools. Picture: Supplied
Western Cape Education Department has undertaken a pilot project by installing smart water meters at 350 schools. Picture: Supplied

WCED’s installation of smart water meters at 350 schools welcomed

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Aug 5, 2020

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Cape Town - Principals in the province have welcomed the Education Department's installation of smart water meters at schools to achieve a water secure future and behaviour change that would lead to significantly lower water use and costs.

The department said it had already undertaken a pilot project by installing smart water meters at 350 schools, saying it has resulted in millions of litres of water being saved and schools considerably reducing their municipal bills.

Hector Pieterson High in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, was one of the first to make use of the system, helping the school to cut water consumption from 47000 litres a day to 9000 litres - a daily saving of 38000 litres.

Principal Mike Mavovana said he was shocked when he was told that the school recorded excessive water use in April, despite being closed due to the lockdown.

Mavovana said an investigation revealed a leakage which has since been repaired.

“I like the daily and weekly reporting system. This enabled the school management to give feedback to all stakeholders about water usage,” Mavovana said.

William Page, principal at Woodville Primary in Mitchells Plain, said he was grateful to be included in the water-saving initiative.

“The water saving brought about by the system has not only benefited the school financially but more importantly, improved our school's water management,” said Page.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said maintaining a stable water supply has never been more important.

“We have seen the challenges that a lack of water has created across the country at a time when washing hands frequently and cleaning surfaces regularly are essential to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” she said.

Schäfer said schools could play their part in ensuring a sustainable and secure water future for the Western Cape by installing smart water meters.

“These devices will help schools manage their water usage better and assist in resolving problems with water infrastructure speedily.”

She said the provincial Education Department subsidy would cover the installation costs for the water- monitoring devices per school, as well as the monthly service fees, for an agreed period.

“Schools will be required to enter directly into a service contract with a water-metering supplier that is able to meet certain technical conditions.”

Cape Argus

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