On 2 February 2018, South African online marketplace and store, bidorbuy, revealed that the site has seen a sharp rise in the demand for water related products as the severe water shortage in Western Cape continues and the ever present threat of #DayZero starts to look more like a certainty.
#DayZero has become the name for the day where Cape Town would have run out of water, becoming the first major city in the world to do so. Currently forecast for 16 April 2018 – the day will see piped supply of water be deemed to have failed and the city will dispatch teams of engineers to close the valves to about a million homes in the city.
As this day draws closer, terms containing the key word “water” are now among top searches on bidorbuy, which is a first for the marketplace.
“Our visitors are mainly searching for water tanks, water containers and water storage solutions in general”, says bidorbuy Category Manager David Berry.
Water pumps, filters and purifiers are also among popular water-related searches, as are the terms “water from air” and “water maker”. As David Berry explains, the last two terms refer to water generation technologies for residential homes.
“Providing there is the right mixture of humidity, temperature and altitude, atmospheric water generators, also known as water-from-air and water makers, can produce potable water by the means of the natural process of condensation through dehumidification”, explains Berry.
Even though atmospheric water generators do not come cheap, 14 of them were sold in one single week at the end of January. All were bought by Capetonians. Depending on the generator’s capacity, these buyers were ready to pay between about R14,000 and R25,000 for some water security.
Various water saving devices also feature prominently in the searches performed by bidorbuy visitors, from tap locks and tap and shower head aerators to liquid pool covers and save-a-flush polymers. There is also a lot of interest in water-free or reduced water alternatives to existing solutions, such as waterless car wash and hand sanitizers.
“In response to the increased interest, we have created on bidorbuy a special online sale devoted exclusively to water saving items,” concluded Berry.