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As the weather heats up, once again potential water issues loom on the horizon for Abbotsford. It also seems City Hall still does not have a long term plan. While we wait for the politicians to get their act together, Karoline Gore has suggestions on how we can address our water conservation issues.

Submitted by Karoline Gore

Addressing the Water Being Wasted Each Year
On average, Canadians each use 329 liters of water a day. Two thirds of this is used in the bathroom alone, with the vast majority of it being used unnecessarily. The initiatives to improve water usage and availability in Abbotsford represent positive steps in the right direction when it comes to conserving water. However, the majority of water wastage comes from households, making it more important than ever that people do what they can to use water sustainably.

Controlling the flow of water
The past few years have seen the emergence of a greater range of water-efficient faucets, which reduce the flow of water. Using these faucets will automatically help reduce the amount of water wasted in a household. Furthermore, turning the faucets off whenever the water is not needed – for instance, when you’re brushing your teeth – can save 200 gallons of water per month.  Meanwhile, taking short showers instead of baths will ensure you keep water wastage to a minimum. Other sustainable touches include using a water-saving shower head, which produces a
relatively low fl ow of water without compromising on the power of the spray.

Staying on top of leaks
Leaks are a significant cause of water wastage in households, with a single home losing 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water annually. Regularly checking pipes and faucets, and promptly fixing leaks, therefore plays a pivotal role in conserving water. It is also important to check that each faucet is turned off completely when not in use, as tiny drips of water will quickly lead to a staggering amount of wasted water if left unattended – even in just a matter of weeks.

Making the most of rainwater
Collecting rainwater at home is another effective way of conserving water. One very simple way of doing this is by catching it in containers placed outside, whether it be watering cans, buckets or bowls, for example. You can also place rain barrels underneath the end of gutters, so that the rain can run off the gutter and collect in the barrel. The rainwater can be used for various activities, such as watering indoor and outdoor plants, as well as washing the car.

Simple, small steps can go a long way
It is easy not to realize how much water we use on a day-to-day basis, and how much of it is used unnecessarily. Reducing water wastage doesn’t mean making huge changes each day. It simply means being more mindful of how we use water, and making a conscious effort to use it more sustainably during everyday activities.

Learn More on the Web!

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Editor: It has just been announced that the City of Abbotsford and the District of Mission will spend $85 million on a new water source. We have questions about this plan, and the method of financing it in future columns.

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