By 2030 our water demand in South Africa will surpass our water supply. SAB understands that the future is a lot closer than we think. That is why we are doing all we can to save water across the supply chain now rather than not having it at all in the future. Read on to discover the array of water-saving measures we have put in place to secure the future for all.
THE CHALLENGES FACED
More than just a key ingredient in beer, water is a critical resource to life - without it, both will cease to exist. Yet the demand for water in the country keeps increasing while many water challenges remain. Some of these challenges include:
- Climate change
- Growing population
- Water theft
- Societal issues
- Lack of infrastructure repairs and investments
The good news is that while water resources are currently stretched thin, it is a renewable resource we can secure for the future by working together as South Africans.
TAKING PRIDE & OWNERSHIP
Brewing great beer lies at the heart of all our business operations and we want every experience with beer to be a positive one, that is why we are making sustainability our business.
Our people are our greatest strength and it is their ambition and commitment that provides the focus to drive us towards our dream of building a better world. Get to know more of the faces driving change for South Africa here.
I work towards achieving our Water Stewardship goal by ensuring that our beers are made at the highest level of water efficiency – Lauren Steytler
|I am passionate about responding and changing social, environmental, and economic risks through sustainable development and partnerships with like-minded businesses. - David Grant||I operate the brewhouse plant in Newlands; I'm responsible for the wort cooling. My passion lies in creating the perfect brew, through more environmentally conscious processes. - Asanda Gwegwe|
|I contribute towards our 2025 goals by ensuring that 100% of our direct farmers will be skilled, connected, and financially empowered. - Manfred Venter||My work varies from ensuring the reduction of water consumption during the malting process to empowering our suppliers in various sectors with financial and other skills, in order to help improve their businesses. - Tremely Ncube||I lead our agricultural development organisation in Africa, with research and development for our primary brewing raw materials - barley, hops, sorghum and cassava. - John Rogers|
OUR QUEST FOR A BETTER WORLD
As a category leader, we are working hard to reduce water usage across our value chain using smart agriculture and water stewardship among other initiatives along the way.
Invasive alien trees and shrubs use more water than indigenous vegetation placing our countries water security at risk. To combat this, we have partnered with WWF to eradicate alien plants.
In George, South Africa the clearing of alien plantation added an additional 10-million hectolitres of water. This project is still underway in partnership with The World Wildlife Fund.
In Uganda, rehabilitation of the riparian zone is taking place along the River Rwizi catchment, as well as setting up a catchment management agenda in collaboration with the government. By acting as buffers between upland areas and open water, riparian zones help filter pollutants such as nutrients and sediment. Healthy riparian vegetation helps to reduce stream bank erosion.
City Water Partnerships
In South Africa, 35% of drinking water is wasted in cities and municipalities due to leaks. To improve the infrastructure of water supplies we launched the City Water Partnerships in Tshwane, Polokwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay. Typical interventions include repairing leaky pipes and boreholes which not only assist with water savings but also creating an additional supply for the communities.
Building a sustainable South Africa starts from the ground up, that is why we are helping farmers to use natural resources more efficiently. In 2018 our barley growers decreased their water use by 12% by implementing measures as part of the Irrigation Optimising Project across 220 growers. This year, we are projecting to conserve 78-million hectolitres of water in our farmlands.
Alone our efforts are but a drop in the ocean but together we can do so much more, that is why it is each and every South African’s responsibility to protect our natural resources for future generations. Here are a few ways that you can make a difference right in your home:
- Take shorter showers.
- Close the tap when brushing your teeth.
- Use a plug in the sink when preparing vegetables, washing fruit or dishes.
- Only do your laundry when you have enough clothes for a full load.
- Trap rainwater by installing Rain Water Harvesting systems.
- Fix leaking taps and toilets.