Discover your water footprint

Town offers rebates for low-flush and dual-flush toilets

Did you know that the average Canadian consumes 328 litres of water every day?  How much water do you, as an individual, consume daily?  This week is Water Week and the theme is Discover your Water Footprint.

Water Week is a nation-wide celebration of water held every year in the third week of March. This week communities across Canada will be helping spread the word and create greater water awareness from March 19 to 25.

An assessment was recently conducted by the Cowichan Watershed Board to ascertain the public’s general knowledge about water and water conservation. This survey will aid in finding solutions to conservation issues in our local area and to help address the need for long term planning regarding water management, as well as to increase awareness among local residents.

From the water survey conducted, it was determined that 73 per cent of Lake Cowichan residents consume less than 328 litres of water a day and that most households know their water cost, which for the Lake Cowichan area is approximately $160 per year.

The survey also examined how important residents thought water conservation was. Only 47 per cent of Lake Cowichan residents thought conservation was very important.

“They look at the lake and they think we have lots of water,” says Coun. Tim McGonigle. “It is not the amount, it is the infrastructure behind it.” he adds.

Action is being taken in Cowichan households.  In Lake Cowichan households 87 per cent actively conserve water, which is slightly more than the amount of households in Duncan making the same conscious effort to conserve our precious resources.

Water quality was rated by households in the area and only a small percentage of people found it to be poor. There were more Duncan residents that found the quality of their water to be fair to excellent compared to Lake Cowichan citizens.

Approximately half of the population surveyed in Lake Cowichan were unaware of toilet rebates that are available. The Town of Lake Cowichan will send a rebate cheque in the amount of $75 for residential installations of low-flush and dual flush toilets in an effort to create awareness and conserve more water.  Eligibility requirements can be found at www.citygreen.ca/lake-cowichan-low-flush-toilet-rebate-program.

Observations from the survey concluded that resident’s knowledge of their water provider and source was strong, but was unable to determine the actual per capita usage.

Lake Cowichan’s attitude towards conservation needs to improve, according to the Watershed Board’s survey and they are hoping to do that through continued rebates and perhaps home kits for water consumption.

With constant changes in population growth and industry, local water resources are spread thin.  Consumption of the energy used to heat, pump and treat our water is something that seems to go unnoticed, but is becoming a serious concern.

There is a worldwide need to use our water and energy more efficiently. By being more efficient, we become more responsible in our everyday consumption. We save energy and aid in keeping our local water resources at a safe level for everyone.