Monday, March 23, 2009

Tips For Water Conservation


In celebration of World Water Day, Environment Minister Barry Penner and Healthy Living and Sport Minister Mary Polak are offering a few easy tips to better conserve and protect British Columbia’s most precious natural asset.

“Water is essential in our homes and daily lives,” Penner said. “But it is also essential for thousands of species of plants and animals, and our waterways play a key role in our economy by helping us to transport people and goods and to produce clean, renewable electricity. From source to tap, it is crucial that we keep this priceless resource clean and sustainable.”

By making water-smart choices and adopting water-efficient technologies, British Columbians can reduce their water use and energy bills, and help protect the environment. The following water conservation tips are easy and cost-effective, and will help individuals to make their homes water smart:

  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, wash up or shave.
  • Sweep driveways and paths with a broom instead of using a garden hose.
  • Run your dishwasher when it’s full and scrape dirty dishes instead of pre-rinsing them.
  • Fix drips and leaks promptly. Even a small leak can add up to thousands of litres of wasted water per month.
  • Water the roots of your plants, rather than the leaves.
  • Water gardens in the early morning or evening. Evaporation is less likely at these times.
  • Avoid using products that can harm the environment, like pesticides or phosphate-rich detergents, and make sure only water goes into storm drains, as they flow directly into our waterways.

“We’ve made significant investments in drinking water systems all across the province to ensure British Columbians have access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Polak. “Good habits at home support that work, supporting a more sustainable water source for all.”

For the more dedicated, the following are additional tips that will result in substantial savings over time:

  • Switch to a low-flow toilet. A six-litre-per-flush toilet will save up to 15,000+ litres of water per person per year.
  • Choose water-efficient appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, irrigation systems, taps and toilets.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead (nine litres of water per minute). This will save the average family up to 20,000 litres of water a year, as well as money on water-heating bills.

To further help British Columbians become water-smart, the B.C. government has developed the Living Water Smart Home Assessment, designed to help consumers compare their usual practices with those that are the most water-efficient, and to identify steps to reduce their water use. The assessment is available at this link.

Last summer, the B.C. government released Living Water Smart: British Columbia’s Water Plan. The plan highlights the need for new water conservation measures to ensure adequate supplies of fresh water for British Columbia's future. For details and more water smart tips, please log on to this water smart link .


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