10 Easy Tips to Conserve Water

June 14, 2019

It’s summertime! That means scenic hikes, sunsets on the beach and patio dinners. But, what you may not be thinking about is water conservation.

Why is it Important?

Here in BC, we are fortunate to have over 25% of the fresh flowing water in Canada coming from glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainfall. However, in the summer, water supply continues to decrease while demand increases. In Vancouver Island alone, level 3 drought conditions are bringing significant concerns of potential ecological and socio-economic impacts. Further development of wildfires across the province may also bring consequences to public and wildlife safety. Overall, the added effects of climate change, intense industrial and agricultural use are creating problems for adaption.

Water conservation techniques challenge us to evaluate and be more conscious of our water usage. Through this, we find areas in our lives where we can better manage, conserve and reduce our daily water use.

Here are 10 easy tips to conserve more water around your home.

  1. Take shorter showers (aim for 5 minutes or less). Did you know that showering makes up to 20% of our indoor water use? Old shower heads pump up to 3.5 gallons per minute, that means you could use 35 gallons of water for a 10-minute shower! Alternatively, you can also invest in low flow shower heads which use 2 gallons per minute. In addition to conserving water, shorter showers also decrease the amount of energy needed to heat the water and can also cut costs on your energy bill.
  2. Have a shower bucket. Placing a bucket under your faucet shower will save the water for future use.
  3. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. We’re all guilty of this- but this is a quick way of conserving more water from the sink.
  4. Invest in low flow toilet (or a toilet tank bank). An average toilet flush uses 3.6 gallons of water. That adds up to 18.8 gallons of water per person a day. Installing a toilet tank bank or a low flow toilet flush can decrease water usage from 0.8 to 1.6 gallons per flush.
  5. Fix leaks. Leaks from your pipes or faucets can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. It creates a lot of water waste so catching it early and getting it fixed is key in saving more water and money.
  6. Don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine unless it’s full. Running dishwashers and washing machines while they’re not full decreases the optimal performance and efficiency of the machines. This leads to a lot of wasted water and energy. If possible, invest in an Energy Star rated machine to decrease future costs.
  7. Use a rain barrel for watering plants. Rain barrels save rainwater for outdoor use. Make sure to cover them on sunny days to prevent attracting pests and water evaporation.
  8. Limit outdoor watering. Watering lawns account for the 50% increase in water use during the summer months. Limit watering to early morning or late evening to prevent quick evaporation.
  9. Put mulch around outdoor plants. Putting two to three inches of mulch can significantly retain water moisture and slow evaporation for your outdoor plants.
  10. Use a broom, not a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. It’s very tempting to use a hose to wash down pathways but using a broom can save more water.

The Bottom Line

Water conservation is critical in managing our water supply wisely and responsibly. These tips may seem small but collectively, they add up to save important resources and lead to a more sustainable future.

Join us at our Facebook group “The Shift” as we challenge ourselves to carry out these tips and live more sustainable, zero waste lives.