March 2023.

Situated in an arid landscape, water saving and conservation is always imperative for the community of Kenhardt, Northern Cape. This month, as the country joins its global citizens in recognition of World Water Day, local solar farm, Aries Solar Power, highlights some of its water saving techniques that have made it possible to not only save hundreds of thousands of litres of water each year, but also to relinquish its water use license.

Solar PV plants don’t in fact use water to produce power, however, solar plants have traditionally had to manually wash their solar panels, which uses scarce water supplies. Identifying this as a priority, Aries Solar Power decided to eliminate manual panel washing, resulting in a saving of approximately 180 000 litres of water each year.

This has resulted in the power plant surrendering its water use license, due to this new approach in managing water consumption, as it has been found that the municipal supply is more than adequate.

In addition to this the plant also harvests its rainwater for domestic use, so very small quantities of municipal water are required.

“Everyone assumes we wash the panels regularly, but we have discovered that rainfall alone is sufficient to wash the panels, saving tonnes of water,” said Sulana De Jager, Site Manager for Aries Solar Power.

World Water Day takes place every year on 22 March and aims to underline the importance of constantly considering ways in which to conserve water, considering the global lack of clean water, damaging effects of global warming, water pollution and damaged water tables.