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How to reduce water use

Duane Griffin, senior water planning engineer with Winnipeg’s Water and Waste Department, said water conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

“Monitoring our homes for leaks on a regular basis helps ensure we are all doing our part to protect our precious water resources,” said Griffin, in an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press. “Plus, by fixing leaks in your home, you could save hundreds of dollars on your water bill.”

As Environment Canada notes, Canada uses a considerable amount of water every day. For instance, the EC indicates that Canadians use an average of 251 liters of water per day. Fortunately, Canada’s water costs are a fraction of what they could be, as municipal water prices average 31 cents per cubic meter, a stark contrast to Germany, where prices are $2.16 per cubic meter.

By taking a more proactive approach to water conservation, Canadians can improve their environment and reduce their costs at the same time.

How water is used in Canada

In order to do this, however, consumers need to figure out the ways in which they’re using water. According to EC, 35 percent of water use in Canada is devoted to showers and baths, 30 percent flushing, 20 percent to laundry, 10 percent for kitchen and drinking purposes and 5 percent for cleaning.

However, because water use varies, the breakdown of these numbers often differ.

Conserve through small adjustments

Once consumers have figured out where their water use is most prevalent, EC advises them to start cutting back on their use as much as they can. This can be done through small adjustments that can lead to large savings. For instance, this includes flushing toilets only when necessary, taking showers that last no more than five minutes, cooling water down by sticking water bottles in the fridge or freezer rather than allowing faucets to run and using a bucket and sponge to clean cars rather than a hose.

Repair leaks

While water use is a primary contributor to utility bills, leaks are as well, as one drop per second wastes approximately 10,000 liters of water per year, EC indicates. Thus, it’s important to repair leaks as soon as they’re spotted.

Leaky faucets are quite common. While consumers can hire someone to have it fixed, EC notes that nonprofessionals can fix them, as hardware stores usually sell leak repair kits.

Practice proper toilet maintenance

A running toilet can waste water as well. While this can usually be fixed by jiggling the flush handle, a more significant problem may require additional efforts. EC recommends looking inside the toilet tank to check the various mechanisms, such as the flapper valve, and flush lever, as these may be the source of the problem.

Reduce outdoor use through xeriscaping

As much as people need water, so does vegetation, as homeowners devote thousands of gallons of water to feeding their gardens and flowerbeds. To more efficiently use water for outdoor purposes, EC says a lot depends on the tools used. For instance, while oscillating sprinklers and drip irrigation systems are common, much of what is sent out is lost to evaporation.

As an alternative, EC recommends installing low-maintenance landscaping option called xeriscaping. The source says that this method is more effective than traditional sprinklers and irrigation systems as it more effectively distributes the water that Mother Nature provides.

Consumers may also want to consider installing more efficient utilities. Any home renovations done should be documented and relayed to their home insurance provider, as the adjustments could lead to lower premiums.

How to reduce water use

While water may be the most abundant resource on the earth, many Canadians are wasting water and losing money by using it indiscriminately and failing to plug leaks.