This summer, think Waterwise!
Water is undoubtedly a vital 21st
century resource. Whether used for home consumption, agriculture, energy production, transportation or recreation, its value is priceless. Moreover, its uneven distribution on our planet makes it a coveted resource. Canadians and Quebeckers are fortunate as a water-rich nation, but we must ensure the proper management of this resource for future generations.
• In Quebec, fresh water covers nearly 10% of the territory;
• Quebec has 3% of renewable freshwater on the planet;
• Quebec is one of the largest freshwater users in the world. In 2006, the production of drinking water was 35% higher than the Canadian average and 62% higher than in Ontario. The volume of water distributed was 795 liters per person per day, while the Canadian average was 591 L and Ontario’s was 491 L.
In order to respond to the objectives of Quebec's Strategy for Water Use Efficiency, as of 2012, we have targets for reducing consumption of this precious resource:
• Reduce average production of water per person by at least 20% for all of Quebec
• Reduce the leakage in all water systems by at least 20% of the volume of water distributed
What does this mean for the city of Sainte-Anne de Bellevue?
In order to respond to these objectives, the City of Sainte-Anne de Bellevue has established a record of drinking water use for the year 2011, has created a new by-law for the use of drinking water, and has created an action plan for 2012-2017 that meets the requirements of the provincial government and the objectives of our sustainable development plan "Moving Towards Sustainability".
The by-law can be found here
What does this mean for residents of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue?
Water is an important resource that we often take for granted. Citizens have an important role to play in the conservation of this resource. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you save both water and money!
Tips for the household:
Tips for outside the house:
- Fix leaks in your faucets or toilets. Leaks in your toilet are often difficult to detect, but there are inexpensive tablets available to help you determine whether your toilet has a leak.
- Keep a container of water in the fridge instead of letting the tap run until the water is cold
- Take shorter showers and avoid taking baths
- Avoid flushing your toilet unnecessarily or using it as a wastebasket
- Install simple fixtures such as a low-flow aerators or showerheads for your sink or shower
- Consider installing a low-flow flush toilet in your next home renovation
- Turn the water off when brushing your teeth, washing your face, shaving, etc
- Run the dishwasher when it is full or plug the sink when washing dishes by hand
- Adjust the level of water in your washing machine to the amount of clothes you are washing
- Consider replacing your top-loading washing machine with one that is front-loading
- Fix leaks in your hose or irrigation system
- Place a rain barrel underneath your gutters to recover rainwater and then use it to water your plants
- Direct your gutters onto a permeable surface such as a lawn or garden to stop water from flowing directly to the sewer
- Install a rain gauge or look at the soil moisture before watering your plants
- Water your plants deeply but infrequently to encourage deeper root growth and drought tolerance
- Water your lawn or flowers early in the morning or late in the evening so less water is lost due to evapotranspiration. Think of our municipal bylaw!
- Place a layer of mulch in your garden or leave your grass clippings on the lawn to help retain water
- Choose native plants or drought resistant plants that require less water
- Use a bucket of water and a sponge to wash your car instead of leaving the hose running
- Clean your driveway with a broom instead of using the hose
- Don’t let water run into the street!
Gradually changing habits and slowly replacing the older fixtures in your household will help to greatly reduce your water consumption and will save you money on your yearly water utility bill. New toilets, aerators and showerhead will usually pay for themselves within the year, making them a great investment for both you and the environment!
For more information, consult Environment Canada’s web page
discussing wise water use.