Water Conservation

water drops - from flaticon.com

Despite the heavy rainfall in our region, water shortages do occur in the City. The limited storage capacity of our reservoirs means that much of the autumn rains and spring snow melt cannot be captured for use in the summer months when water consumption tends to be at its highest. The amount of water consumed in each household has been estimated to double during the summer.

Our growing population and increasing water demand is putting a strain on our water systems. When you add climate change and new technologies that use vast amounts of water to the mix, it becomes clear that conserving water is more important now than ever.

Water Conservation: What You Can Do

There are many ways that you can help to conserve water:

  • Water your lawn rather than the pavement - position your sprinkler so it doesn't hit driveways or sidewalks
  • Shorten your shower and turn off the tap while you brush your teeth
  • Always use a shut-off valve on your hose, and check all connections for leaks often
  • Only run your washer when you have a full load - and re-wear your clothes
  • Group your plantings in the garden by water needs
  • Use and re-use a favourite glass all day to cut down on the number of glasses to wash
  • Use a broom rather than a hose to clean your driveway, deck, and patio
  • Wash your vehicle at a commercial car wash that recycles water
  • Top your garden with mulch to preserve moisture and minimize evaporation

Other Ways to Limit Water Consumption

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are a "double-duty" piece of green infrastructure that can be used to collect and distribute water during dry summer months, and manage and reduce the impact of our rainwater during wetter months. The City promotes the use of two-season rain barrels as they have a low-level drain that can be closed in the summer months to collect water, and opened during the winter months to ensure a maintenance free operation.

Rain barrels can be coupled with distribution or soaker hoses to allow regular watering of dry garden beds and shrubs, or for regular dedicated watering of water hungry areas during light rains. By using a two-season rain barrel, the rain that is collected in wetter months can be spread into garden areas to slowly infiltrate and soak into the soil, thereby easing the stress on our urban drainage system and our creeks and ocean areas.

Leaky Toilet

If you have a leaky toilet in your home, the amount of water your household consumes can multiply quickly. From an environmental standpoint, a leaky toilet is extremely wasteful.

Noticed a gurgling, gushing or trickling noise coming from your toilet? It's not a sign that your toilet is 'working' - it means you have a leak. Even if you don't hear any noise from your toilet, it's good practice to check for leaks at least once a year.

To check for leaks, drop a teaspoon of food colouring into your toilet tank. If the colour appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you’ve got a leak. Many leaks can be fixed by replacing the worn-out flapper valve.

Fix leaks as soon as possible, either as a DIY or with the help of a plumber.

Water Efficient Appliance Rebates

BC Hydro often offers rebates for upgrading to water-efficient appliances.

Check for current offers on the BC Hydro Rebates page.

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