Government News: Water conservation tips to help your community combat waste

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Canada has an enviable supply of fresh water. It’s something Canadians are proud of. Unfortunately, it’s also something Canadians take for granted.  According to a report by Environment Canada, the perception that we have an unending supply of clean, fresh water is causing us to be rather wasteful when it comes to using our most precious resource. In fact, the report says the average household and business could easily scale back on water usage by 40 percent.

Encouraging members of your community to conserve more water is not only good for the environment—it’s good for government budgets. After all, if citizens are using more and more water, that increased demand puts additional stress on infrastructure, such as water treatment plants and water mains.

Clearly, there’s a strong case for conservation. Keep reading for simple tips the entire community can use in an effort to save on water consumption.

The three R’s of water conservation

Many Canadian municipalities are starting to introduce “demand management” tactics to promote water efficiency. One of the key pillars of demand management is public education. We’ve all heard of the four R’s of sustainability—reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. Similarly, there are three R’s of water preservation. Share these with your community and agency staff alike.

  • Repurpose: We often don’t think of other uses for the water we’re dumping down the drain. For example, letting the faucet run to warm up before washing hands is an opportunity to collect water that can be used for cleaning or watering a plant.
  • Remedy: Some may think water leaks are par for the course. However, utility company American Water says that a leak as tiny as the period at the end of this sentence could waste more than 4,000 gallons of fresh water every month. Help your community uncover hidden water leaks by communicating the following: First, check your water metre; then refrain from using any water for two hours. After the two hours are up, check your metre again. If there is a change, there is a leak. Print this simple technique on magnets or jar openers that can easily be mailed in tax or water bills.
  • Review: Conducting a thorough review or audit of water consumption is a great way to identify ways to save. You may even want to challenge your community members to a “save-off.” Hold a Facebook® contest, and ask followers to comment on how they plan to lower water bills this summer. Reward best answers with a sports bottle or tote. Or, hold a prize draw for those who achieve the greatest cost savings. An eco-friendly barbeque set or a solar-powered flashlight makes a great prize.

Remember, there’s plenty we can do to help our community use water more wisely. Promote the three R’s and watch the savings pour in.

 

“Wise Water Use.” Environment Canada. N.p., 23 Jul. 2013. Web. Retrieved 30 March 2015.

“50 Ways To Save Water.” The Water Conservation School. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 26 Feb. 2015.

“The Water Leak Detection Kit.” American Water. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 26 Feb. 2015.

 

 

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