The Versatile JoJo Water Tank

South Africa is located on an ageing continent with a predominance of parched desert regions, such as the Kalahari, Namib and Sahara. Even in Africa's southernmost nation, rainfall is becoming increasingly unreliable, making the task of those responsible for supplying homes and industries with freshwater ever more challenging. In practice, Cape Town's "Day Zero" drought could have occurred in Durban, Bloemfontein or Johannesburg. However, we can all help avert that possibility by installing a water tank.

Gauteng is a summer rainfall area known for its impressive thunderstorms. The torrential rain either quickly evaporates in the seasonal heat, soaks into the soil or is flushed away by storm drains. By contrast, bone-dry vegetation frequently ignites spontaneously during winter, creating destructive bush fires and water supply shortages that often necessitate enforcing strict conservation measures. Frequently, supply cuts are unavoidable, and tariff increases are a regular feature. Fortunately, we have an opportunity to help break that recurring cycle by harvesting rainwater. Installing a water tank and some minimal pipework won't stop the droughts. But, it will help families and businesses survive them.

The installation is relatively straightforward and begins by diverting the flow from a downpipe or gutter to the storage vessel. A coarse filter fitted to the inlet will prevent leaves and other debris from entering the system. The outlet is located near the bottom in a vertical unit, so it's only necessary to fit a tap, and gravity will ensure sufficient outflow. In such cases, the supply will be suitable for watering plants, topping up the pool, and cleaning cars. However, a water tank can offer far more than these simple domestic tasks. For example, by adding a pump, the unit could become the source for an irrigation system. Add some purification technology, and you could have an additional potable supply which could even be incorporated into the municipal system if required.

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These domestic applications are just a few of the possibilities. When droughts occur, it is often rural communities that are hardest hit. Some small villages could rely on a single stand tap and face crisis if it were to run dry. One can mount a horizontal tank on a vehicle to provide an inexpensive mobile tanker. It's ideal for delivering aid to those villagers in distress or perhaps workers on an unserviced building site.

Drought is an endemic problem throughout the continent, and conservation is crucial. There can be few African nations where rainwater harvesting is not essential or "JoJo" is not widely known as a manufacturer of durable storage vessels. In South Africa, we are equally well known as a leading supplier of these iconic tanks and accessories.