Q&A WITH HANSGROHE MD DAVID COOPER
With the local and global spotlight on drought and water saving measures, Hansgrohe South Africa, a leading global supplier of taps, showerheads and mixers, recently reported an 82% increase in the sale of its eco-range products over the past three year period (2013-2015). The brand says this is an indication that South Africans are proactively committing themselves to cutting down water usage.
David Cooper, Managing Director of German luxury sanitary fittings brand Hansgrohe with over 30 showrooms in 9 African countries, believes in adapting the functionality of products in response to climate change and environmental impact.
Cooper, who joined Hansgrohe SA in December 2014 and applies over 15 years’ experience in the management and distribution of international brands in Africa to his position on the Axor and Hans Grohe brands, says frightening statistics about water scarcity are easy to find and eco-smart technology is on the rise.
While there has been a big move towards fitting eco-smart technology, well known environmental commentator Simon Gear says far more South Africans should consider making the switch. “The fact is that water is still very cheap and this does stop consumers making it a big focus. Water is also easily accessible to many South Africans, so it is taken for granted, rather than viewed as the scarce, vital resource it is.”
Gear says that at some point in the future, the cost of water will rise dramatically. “Once this happens, we are likely to see far more consumers making their home’s water supply more eco-friendly.”
Up to 47% of the world’s cities face periodic water crises. In 2025 demand for fresh water will overtake supply in South Africa. So, can the average household’s water consumption really make a dent in this local and global crisis?
Cooper believes that it can, here he explains why:
As we all know, South Africa is currently experiencing severe drought….
Following the El Niño climate cycle impacting global weather patterns, South Africa is experiencing severe drought and water restrictions.
Could you give an example of how Hans Grohe products cut water consumption?
The average household of four – using traditional taps and showerheads – conservatively consumes around 1 000 litres of water a day, which translates to 30 000 litres a month and 360 000 litres a year. An entry level eco showerhead uses 7.5 litres per minute (Hansgrohe Croma 1jet), compared to a conventional showerhead, which starts at 14 litres a minute.
How does this translate in terms of shower water usage?
If we assume individuals shower for an average of 5 minutes, this could translate to a savings in shower water use of 130 litres per household day (3 900 per month and 46 800 per year) if every family member showers daily. If we scaled this up to a city with a population of 1 million, the savings per year are staggeringly high.
Would water usage be reduced if all water outlets were fitted with eco-products?
If all water outlets in a home were fitted with eco-products, the water usage would be even dramatically reduced by at least 60%.
Will installing an eco-friendly showerhead also have cost savings?
The recommended retail cost of a Croma 1jet showerhead is R225. For a family of four, it will cut water use from showering by around 46,4%. If water is charged at, say, R15,87 per kilolitre, the cost will be recouped within about three months. After that there will be ongoing savings.
So making sure your house is geared to use water as economically as possible is an excellent starting point to becoming waterwise?
It will stand you in very good stead both as a committed social citizen and as a cost-savvy consumer.