Water is our most precious resource on earth; every living organism is dependent on it for survival. Less than 30% of people around the world have access to safe drinking water. As the climate changes, we will likely see that access to clean and safe water will become more important than ever.
While access to clean water is not an issue for most Canadians, it makes sense to be more water conscious for the following reasons:
- Lower water and energy bills by reducing your metered usage.
- Enhanced drinking water quality by maintaining higher levels in our lakes.
- Less environmental impact by deferring the need to supply water from new sources and by reducing the energy and materials required to treat and deliver water.
We all can take immediate steps starting in our own households to more efficiently use water so there is enough to go around.
Be water conscious
Just like you think about saving energy by turning off your lights, switching off the power strip and charging your phone with your solar charger, you should be just as conscious about conserving water. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving, use less water when hand washing dishes, don’t use hot water to defrost food, and take shorter showers. We all know these things and mean to do them, but sometimes we forget. Program these simple changes into your daily routine and be conscious about water use.
A dripping tap sends your money down the drain. If your tap is leaking one drop per second, you are wasting over 9,460 litres of water per year. You can fix this problem by replacing a simple washer. Even if you have to change the entire tap, it’ll cost less than what you’re wasting. Also, check your toilet, it might be leaking too even if you don’t hear it. You can check for a leak in your toilet by adding a few drops of food colouring to the tank. If within half an hour the coloured water has disappeared from the bowl, you’ll know you’ve got a leak.
Use low water flow fixtures
Low flow showerheads and faucet aerators save up to half of water used without compromising your shower quality and washing experience. Also, take the opportunity to install a low-flow toilet and save even more money! Since 30% of the water consumption in your home is from toilet use; the older the toilet, the greater the use. Old toilets use at least 16-20 litres per flush. However, more recent models use about six litres or, if you install an ultra low-flow head, your toilet will use as little as three litres of water per flush—a big difference for huge savings!
Wash full loads
Use your appliances efficiently by washing only full loads of dishes or clothes. Wait the extra meal to have enough dishes or another day until you have enough clothes to make running that appliance worth it. While some appliances have settings for smaller loads, most do not, and use just as much water to wash a few things as it does to wash a full load.
Replace old appliances
Energy Star rated appliances save you energy, water, and money! Energy Star rated washers use half the water and energy per load of older models. If you’re looking for a new washing machine, frontload washing systems have a much larger capacity and save a lot of water and energy. Also, take the time to look at investing in a dishwasher. This might surprise many but washing your dishes by hand in your sink uses more water than running an Energy Star rated dishwasher. Hand washing your dishes twice daily uses about 70 litres of water while a dishwasher, filled to the maximum, uses only 30 litres.
Saving water saves you money
From leaky taps and running toilets to watering your lawn, there are many things around your house that drain your money if you are not aware of them. You can be green and save water and money by following the above steps—use less and you’ll save more!