I wish someone had told me that, together, we could have prevented the water crisis

“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by Blake.

It feels like just yesterday when Johannesburg was faced with water restrictions and now Cape Town is counting down to day zero – the day that Capetonians will have to collect water from the army.

It seems unreal! How can a country with so much land, mountains, wind, sun and oceans be faced with a water shortage? Our population is growing at a rapid pace, putting more and more pressure on our natural resources. It must be time for change. It’s time we start understanding what’s really important; we can’t live our lives with blinkers on anymore.

Climate change is real. We have been experiencing thunderstorms in Cape Town, snow in summer in the Drakensberg, a tornado in Johannesburg, massive hail storms, flooding… and the list goes on. We can’t predict the future but we can make the most of the present.

The thing about disasters, terrible as they are, is that they unite people and ignite the entrepreneur in all of us, driving us to finding solutions to whatever predicament we find ourselves in.

I have spent some time speaking to government about Cape Town’s rivers. These are beautiful natural resources. Granted, they don’t provide not enough water to sustain our city, but at the moment a large percentage of our river water is polluted, inaccessible and unsafe. I believe we can turn this around and I have a plan up my sleeve.

Finding alternate sources of water will help, but it’s not the solution. We need to realise there is only one Earth. It’s time we started taking care of our environment and resources.

If you believe your actions won’t make a difference, think again.

The response of people and businesses to the news of KPMG’s involvement in corrupt activities is a great example of how saying “enough is enough” can make a big difference.

We also witnessed Robert Mugabe stepping down from his 37-year dictatorship in Zimbabwe. Finally people said “enough is enough” and it is time for change.

Each of our actions plays an important part in driving change and when all our actions align, we see big changes.

I love this famous quote by the late cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”


  • I wish someone had told me that my actions would make a difference
  • I wish someone had told me that we only have one Earth and we need to protect it

What am I going to do to prevent future disasters?

Here are five simple steps I take in my day-to-day life to make a difference and to do my bit for this place I call home, Planet Earth:

  • Stop buying plastic shopping bags
  • Don’t use plastic straws! I make a conscious effort to ask my local coffee shops and restaurants to find alternatives for me. If we all do this we will create a demand and create change
  • Carry my own coffee mug in my car and bag instead, no need for the take away coffee cups that end up in landfills or our oceans.
  • Carry my own reusable water bottle that I can fill up instead of buying plastic water bottles.
  • I won’t buy any product with microbeads. These are those little particles in soaps, shampoos and toothpaste that we use to exfoliate. Surprise! It’s actually plastic and ends up going down our drains into our water and back into our food source
  • I use eco-friendly soap, shampoo, toothpaste and house cleaning detergents

I am very strict about all of this, and I’m loving it. It feels good to know that I am playing my part.

As the old lady said, while peeing in the ocean, “Every little bit helps.”

Blake brings a lot of energy, passion and heart into everything he does. He is extremely passionate about our country, it’s people and the environment. He is based in Cape Town and is happiest when he is running around exploring the beauty of the mountains.