How Professional Sports is Helping Cape Town Save Water


Each year, the Sunshine Tour takes place in southern Africa. This is one of the largest men’s professional golf tours, and it traditionally has been held in Cape Town, South Africa every year. But in recent years, it has rebranded itself, and now travels around the continent.   

This year, it was scheduled to be held in Cape Town.  And while there was thought of moving the Tour somewhere else due to the extreme water shortage in Cape Town, the tournament was still held here.  However, they did make a few changes to address the dire water situation in the city and surrounding area.

save water

For instance:

•    Before the event, promoters made a commitment that they would look for new ways and more ways to use less water than ever before

•    The tour was moved to a golf course that is irrigated using treated effluent water. This is water made from sewage, waste, or has been recycled. By treating it, the water can be used for irrigation, but usually not human or animal consumption.

•    Showering restrictions were put into place. Golfers were allowed to take showers only on Tuesday during the tournament.  If they missed that opportunity due to traveling, they could take a shower on Friday.  They were also allowed to take a shower on Sunday, after the tournament. Considering that daytime temperatures in Cape Town jump into the 80s (F) this time of year, taking a shower only once per week likely proved a bit uncomfortable for some of the golfers.

•    700 cases of bottled water were shipped in for player hydration. However, because the demand for bottled water is so high in Cape Town, the water for the tournament had to be shipped from one of South Africa’s most northern provinces at additional cost. 

•    Gone were the use of traditional eating utensils, plates, and cups. These were replaced with disposable items, so they did not need to be washed, using water.

•    The Sunshine Tour also partnered with local social media organizations, helping them develop new strategies to get the word out that Cape Town residents must use water more responsibly and much more efficiently.

With all of this going on, we might as well take this opportunity to address the current water status in Cape Town.

Day Zero, referring to the day when Cape Town runs out of water entirely, was expected in February or possibly March 2018.  However, mainly due to extreme water reduction efforts, it has been pushed back to later in the year.  And because the rainy season is Cape Town is in the summer, it’s possible it may be pushed back to next year – if they have anything near an average rainfall season. 

For more information on ways to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently, contact a Waterless Co representative.