13 September 2017, Johannesburg - Recognising the increasing negative effects of climate change and cognisant of the fact that South Africa is a water-scarce country, JSE-listed turnkey residential developer Calgro M3 has implemented several further initiatives to improve water consumption. This includes measures for the post-construction phase to offset water consumed during construction, thereby producing a "water neutral" product.
One such measure is a device called "Save a Flush" by Dry Planet SA (Pty) Ltd, which is being used and implemented by Calgro M3. Placed in a toilet, the device reduces water consumption per flush by one litre. While this does not come across as much, it amounts to significant water savings over time.
Wikus Lategan, Calgro M3 CEO explains: "According to our calculations, which are being verified by an independent external party, these devices installed in dual-flush toilet cisterns, standard across our product range, will become 'water neutral' within three months."
The result of the calculation – based on the construction of a 40m2residential unit – is that by using "Save a Flush" in combination with a dual-flush toilet, and based on 11 flushes per day, the group will be rendered 'water neutral' for each unit it develops within just 84 days of being occupied.
Calgro M3 is also undertaking an educational programme with the occupants of the units, issuing flyers and information packs, to ensure they understand why the device is installed and how it functions. This is supported by a water conservation advocacy initiative aimed at the group's rental market and purchasers of units within the group's developments.
In addition, Calgro M3 is in the process of further developing a water efficiency strategy in line with their sustainability principles which will allow for further reductions in not only water consumption by implementing such strategies throughout the Calgro M3 project cycle but also focuses on energy, transport and the general environment that we leave behind.
Lategan said that other initiatives include making a concerted effort to conserve water by means of rain- and/or grey water harvesting where possible. In Cape Town, which is suffering a critical water shortage, and as publicised previously, the group's construction activities have been scaled down.
These already implemented initiatives are in line with the recent call by City of Cape Town Deputy Executive Mayor Ian Neilson for developers to make use of treated effluent water wherever possible.
"We continue to focus our attention on being a responsible citizen in "building legacies and changing lives," Lategan concluded.