According to Environment Canada, Canada uses more water per person than every other country in the world with the exception to the United States.
While this may seem like a luxury, there are a number of factors that may place limitations on the accessibility and cost of water in the future:
These reasons, and more, make it increasingly important to find ways to save water starting right at our homes.
As we can see from the graph above, much of the water we use at home comes from bathroom usage. Let’s take a closer look at some ways we can save water at home in the bathroom, kitchen and other common areas around the house.
The shower and your bathtub are the most common culprits when it comes to water waste. Understandably, taking a long, hot shower or bath on a cold day is one of the small luxuries in life we take for granted. The simple solution to save water in the shower is to reduce the time you spend in there. For every minute you reduce your shower time, you could save about 19 liters of water.
Other ways to save water in the shower include the installation of water-saving shower heads and faucets. These highly affordable devices could save the average family around 11,000 liters of water per year as well as reduce the demand on water heaters, saving additional money and energy.
A cool water-saving trick you can try in your toilet tank is placing a plastic water bottle in there to compensate for some of the water that is flushed. Just grab a one or two liter water bottle, throw some rocks in it, fill it with water and put it in the tank. This could save your household nearly 40 liters of water each and every day!
Another conventional but often overlooked way to save water in the bathroom is while brushing your teeth. Teach your kids to turn off the faucet when they are brushing their teeth to prevent unnecessary water usage.
Right after water that is wasted from laundry usage (something that can really only be remedied with a more energy efficient appliance) is kitchen water waste. In terms of dishwashers, most research indicates that they will help you save more money than hand-washing. Still, using your dishwater before it is full can be a waste of water and should be avoided when possible. If hand-washing is your thing (or if you don’t have a dishwasher), apply the same rules you would when brushing your teeth – only run the faucet when you are rinsing each dish.
Another way to save water in the kitchen is by reducing garbage disposal usage. Because garbage disposals are supposed to be used in conjunction with running water they can consume a lot of wasted water. In an effort to save water, money and create an additional benefit, use your food waste in a compost bin. You’ll be saving water but will also be creating some great fertilizer for your plants.
Saving water outdoors is another area you should be conscious of when looking for ways to save water around your home.
According to the aforementioned Environment Canada article on Wise Water Usage, water usage can increase by 50 percent in the growing season. One way to conserve water in the yard is to only water it early in the morning or at dusk to prevent evaporation. In other words, don’t water your lawn in the middle of the day when the sun will dry it up quickly and minimize its effectiveness.
You can also prevent sprinkler and hose usage altogether to some degree with the installation of a cistern. This water capturing and storage device can be used for irrigation water and can save you money on your water bills every month.
Other ways to reduce the amount of water needed around your yard is to add mulch around your plants and shrubs. This helps to prevent evaporation and means your plants do not require as much water. In fact, plants, native grasses, shrubs and trees are an efficient landscaping method that serves to improve the appearance of your lawn but also reduces the amount of irrigation water you’ll require.
Finally, only water your plants and lawn when they need it. If you are experiencing a time of sustained rainfall be sure to turn off any automated sprinkler systems you have as to not waste unneeded water.
Using these simple ways to save water you can help to reduce your need for water, save money on your water bills, and do your part to ensure Canada maintains the lowest water prices in the world.
Figure 1 Resource: https://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/default.asp?lang=En&n=F25C70EC-1