Visitors to Cape Town can now offset their water consumption before they arrive by making donations to local water-saving initiatives.

One example is a water-saving initiative started by local retailer Shoprite.  This involves a smart meter roll-out programme which is expected to save millions of litres of water at Cape Town’s top 100 high-volume water-using schools.

Speaking at a briefing in Cape Town last week, Wesgro Chief Marketing Officer, Judy Lain, said: “We get quite a lot of visitors who don’t want to come here because they think it is socially irresponsible, because they are worried they are going to take water away from the locals.”

To address this, in April Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC, Alan Winde, will launch a website that will give visitors the opportunity to be part of the solution by offsetting their water footprint through donations to NGOs driving water-saving initiatives.

Lain said the industry had managed to pull together a single narrative that was helping to change the messaging internationally to focus on “resilience”, rather than the crisis. She said Cape Town and the Western Cape had become a benchmark on how a destination could deal with water scarcity.

Some examples: