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TThe drought currently being experienced in the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape has provided many lessons as to how the meetings, incentives, and conferencing and exhibition industry can use water responsibly going forward. Business delegates are more conscious than ever before of their water footprints and whether they will be contributing to the water shortage. The answer is simple – South Africa’s tourism sector is open for business, for leisure and business delegates alike. 

Here are a few tips on how you can organise a #WaterWise meeting, conference or exhibition:


  • Erect water saving notices with appropriate tips
  • If you use evaporative air conditioners, set your thermostat to 24°C.
  • Where possible, use fans and natural ventilation.
  • Switch off heating and cooling after hours.
  • Install water-efficient taps with an aerator or flow restrictor to use less water.
  • Install lever or mixer taps, these save water by quickly reaching a desired temperature.
  • Where possible, re-use your water for irrigation, dust suppression and toilet flushing
  • Encourage meeting attendees to only use one drinking glass for the duration of the meeting or replace conventional water glasses with paper cups.
  • Make hand sanitizer available for all meeting attendees in the bathroom facilities.
  • Have waterless urinals.
  • Encourage delegates or meeting attendees to pack enough clothes to avoid having to use the laundry. 


  • Encourage your delegates to drink filtered tap water that can be made freely available on the exhibition floor, rather than bottled water.
  • Encourage exhibitors not to serve bottled water on their stands. This will also reduce the waste generated at the event but if it is a must, suggest R10 surcharge on every bottle. The money raised can be donated to install a dropular system in a school, buy a water tank for an animal shelter or help an organisation clear alien vegetation that consumes excessive water.
  • Make hand sanitizer available for all exhibitors and delegates in the bathroom facilities.
  • Have waterless urinals.

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