Desalination Challenging Drinking Water Outage

The AirDrop initiative by Siemens is challenging Joburgers to use their leftover baggage weight to take water to Cape Town when heading off on holiday.


Did you know that the Johannesburg to Cape Town air route is the busiest one in the world? Over 4.4 million people fly it every year and many of those people don’t make use of their full luggage weight limit. Cape Town is experiencing the worst water crisis in its history. Statistics say that they could run out of water on 6 May 2018.

Siemens has decided to use these statistics to help Cape Town during the water crisis. They are challenging travellers who will be at OR Tambo and Cape Town International on the 15th of December to join in and donate their unused weight to help get water to Cape Town.

The tech company is running the ‘guilt-free’ water challenge to show some love for Capetonians during this parched time. Head of Communications for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, Keshin Govender felt something needed to be done on a large scale to make a difference. The company is renowned for its ingenuity and this creative approach has catapulted problem-solving to a whole new level.

During a one-day activation at OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports, travellers can participate by having their luggage weighed at the Siemens AirDrop stand, located in the check-in hall opposite the self-service check-in counters (directly next to ACSA Info Desk at OR Tambo). Any travellers whose luggage is five (or more) kilos under the weight limit will be able to ‘exchange’ their unused kilograms for litres of water that will be delivered to Cape Town on their behalf.

“By simply exchanging unused luggage kilos for water, we hope to ‘airlift’ around 5000 litres (5 Tonnes) of drinking water to the city in a matter of hours. It is this kind of ingenuity that has made us a global leader in intelligent water management.” – Keshin Govender

When arriving in Cape Town, passengers can either collect their guilt-free Jozi water to use during their stay, or they can opt to leave it at the collection point at Cape Town International Airport. The AirDrop collection stand will be in the arrivals area, opposite Woolworths. Uncollected water will be donated to Gift of the Givers and distributed to people in need.

“Only through ingenuity can we overcome the constraints of outdated and wasteful methods. AirDrop is an example of what can be accomplished if we apply this type of thinking to all industries across the country,” – Keshin Govender

This social challenge is the perfect example of how South Africans can do something helpful for their fellow citizens’. So if you are travelling to the Mother City, show them some love and donate some water to help alleviate the pressure. Or if you are driving, pack in that extra water, the more the merrier.

Siemens would like to clarify that the AirDrop experiment taking place on Friday 15 December is based on a voucher system and that passengers will not physically be checking in water when the fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Siemens AirDrop is a one-day social experiment to create awareness and see how quickly we can get 5 Tonnes of water from Jozi to CT using flights that are already scheduled. For the purposes of this experiment Siemens is using a voucher system: passengers with enough unused (5kg or more) luggage will receive a voucher – not a five-litre bottle of water.

It is on a first come first serve basis, there are 1000 vouchers available.

Siemens has pre-transported the water to Cape Town, and when passengers arrive they can either collect their water to use whilst in Cape Town, or Siemens will donate the water to Gift of the Givers.

This is a social experiment to see what is possible, not a call to action.


Sources: Siemens
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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