OPINION: The Ripple Effect – How water scarcity and climate change are changing the way we think of water


Victoria Falls rainforest

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 11th NOVEMBER 2020,/ Centre for African Journalists (CAJ) News – / WE need water. It is essential for the flourishing of all life on earth, and yet we already do not have enough. This simple fact combined with predicted climatic events, such as megadroughts and increased desertification in Sub-Saharan Africa, exposes a larger challenge.

To have enough water in the right places, at the right times, for how our world is projected to change in the next 5 years, let alone the next 25, we need to start taking saving our water as seriously as we take saving our money.

Our water sources are already exacerbated by a growing agricultural industry, rapid urbanisation, and by exploding populations in areas already deprived of water. Despite rainfall variability being well documented in Africa, it is estimated that by 2025, 52 % of countries worldwide expected to be facing water shortages will be African. A clear indication that we are failing to realise the importance of our limited water resources.

COO of the leading water tank manufacturer Abeco Tanks, Mannie Ramos Jnr, believes that even as we head into our rainy season or as water restrictions are lifted, we need to take a proactive stance towards saving water.

“There is a shift taking place where people are starting to change the way they think about water and planning ahead, especially after years of drought in Cape Town. Even though the City of Cape Town has lifted water restrictions, the reality of facing day zero has made Capetonians more aware of water scarcity,” says Ramos Jnr.

While awareness is known to drive change, it only happens when closely followed by action.

“If we view water as a scarce resource, even in times of oversupply, and make sure to conserve and plan head for times when that resource is not freely available, then we are better prepared to deal with the water crisis,” adds Ramos Jnr.

He uses the analogy of protecting another not so natural resource – information. With cybercrime seen as a very real threat, organisations are using technology solutions and strategies to secure and back up that data.

For example, banks take every effort to secure the hard-earned money of their customers – behind physical vaults or digital cyber security solutions.

He adds that banks also understand the importance of planning ahead for water scarcity as Abeco has supplied tanks to all of the banks in South Africa.

The solution?
The solution is simple and effective, water storage tanks. Water tanks have been used for centuries with the earliest water storage systems documented in the bronze-age, 3000 years BC.

Water tanks are used in a multitude of applications such as drinking water, fire suppression, agricultural irrigation, chemical manufacturing and rainwater harvesting, to name a few.

He notes that using water tanks for rainwater harvesting can also reduce an organisation’s environmental impact, especially as climate change and water scarcity are challenges to achieving sustainable development on the continent.

Having said that, it is difficult to fathom why all organisations, industry and government departments do not have water storage tanks to protect their operations.

Water tanks are a highly effective answer to the solution and with the range of capacities offered, from 20 000 litres up to 10 Million litres, any organisation – small or large – community or residential can all save water for a not-so rainy day.

While it is good that the South Africa’s National Climate Change Response White Paper and the National Development Plan are prioritizing the immediate and observed threats of climate change to the country’s society, economy and environment, without proactively saving water through rain harvesting, water tanks, water recycling, and changing our attitude towards water, little progress will be made.

The negative impact of our negligent attitudes towards continuous access to this irreplaceable resource is but a drop in the ocean in comparison to what will happen if we don’t start saving water for a not-so-rainy day and start implementing, sustainable, water continuity solutions such as large scale water tanks.

Distributed by Centre for African Journalists (CAJ) News on behalf of Abeco Tanks.

About Abeco
Abeco Tanks is the World’s First Bank for the Business of Water, trusted for nearly 40 years to protect against water scarcity. The company’s steel water storage tanks are found in over 35 countries across the globe including Africa, Central America and the Middle East. Abeco is a private, family owned business together with equity stakeholder and funding partners, Investec Private Capital and Global Capital empowerment fund.

With its 269,000 square foot manufacturing facility in South Africa, and hundreds of employees Abeco has erected more water tanks than any other company in Southern Africa, making it the definitive leader in water storage solutions.

Blue chip clients include Anglo American, Sasol, Chevron, FNB, BP, JP Morgan, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and Investec.

About Mannie Ramos Jnr.
COO Abeco Tanks | Water Continuity Activist | Growth Driver |

Mannie’s passion is to reduce the negative impact of water scarcity on the world. As the COO of the leading water tank manufacturer Abeco Tanks, he is able to fulfill this passion by providing continuity of water for communities, governments and businesses.

After a successful international finance career working in Europe, Middle East and America, Mannie returned to South Africa armed with a strong track-record, an MBA from Henley Business School and invaluable multinational experience.

His mandate was to bring his wealth of experience, strong leadership skills and finance acumen to take Abeco to the next level of its growth.

Abeco Tanks has been in business for almost 40 years building steel water storage tanks and has grown into the definitive leader in over 35 countries in Africa, Central America and the Middle East. The company is backed up by equity stakeholder and funding partner Investec Private Capital.

Mannie spearheaded the innovative brand positioning of Abeco as ‘the world’s first bank for the business of water’, which sets the company apart from its competitors. Water tanks known as ‘water banks’ act as a savings account for water so that people and organisations have the water they need to keep operating, even in times of water scarcity.

It is this kind of innovative and ‘out the box’ thinking that makes Mannie an inspiring leader with the ability to achieve great results and transform companies. He thrives on taking calculated risks while having a strong understanding of the trade-off between risk and return. Mannie’s excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills, makes him an influential board level executive.

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