This spring and summer, you may encounter a water enforcement officer in your community. They will be educating residents on the importance of water conservation, and ensuring any water restrictions that are in effect are being followed.
Although the water enforcement officer will be going door-to-door, they will be practicing proper safety measures during COVID-19. They will utilize door hangers to provide contact information to residents, and will maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres from others. They will also be travelling in a dedicated vehicle to further ensure proper physical distancing between workers.
With more people at home and tending to their lawns and gardens this year, we are seeing an increase in water usage. There are many ways to conserve our drinking water resource while still cultivating a healthy and attractive garden. Try following some of the following tips to reduce your household’s water consumption:
Retrofitting your home for water efficiency is easy. Advancements in technology for appliances and plumbing now result in huge reductions in water use with comparable (or improved) performance. Install low-flow showerheads and faucets and replace older, water-guzzling toilets and appliances with more water efficient versions.
Rethink Outdoor Water Usage
Water consumption triples during summer months as a result of outdoor water use. Luckily, there are many easy ways of using water efficiently without sacrificing the beauty and enjoyment of your yard.
Experiment with “Naturescaping”
Your lawn requires less than 2.5 cm (one inch) of water, per week, to stay healthy. To support your efforts, substitute traditional landscaping with “naturescaping” – a landscaping technique that strategically places emphasis on plants that grow naturally and require less water. Also, consider collecting and using rainwater as much as possible. Instead of using a hose or pressure washer to clean driveways, siding, fences and other areas around the yard, try using a broom, bucket and brush or another water-efficient method.
Implement an Irrigation System
A carefully designed irrigation system with efficient components can help apply only just as much water as your landscape needs, reducing waste from overwatering. The CVRD offers rebates for Smart Control irrigation timers that provide irrigation only when required according to the weather and environmental conditions. Smart Control has been shown to reduce outdoor water use by as much as 20-40 per cent annually while maintaining landscape health.
Unnecessary water usage can occur both inside and outside of your home. Even slight leaks can add up to large volumes of preventable water loss. Ensure that toilets, faucets, irrigation systems and outdoor hoses aren't leaking and, when performing simple tasks such as brushing teeth and doing dishes, make sure to turn the tap off.
Water Smart Resources
- Province of BC - Living Water Smart
- Capital Regional District's “Water Conservation Fact Sheets”
- Irrigation Industry Association of BC brochure
- Capital Regional District's “A Homeowner's Guide to Outdoor Water Use”
- Metro Vancouver's “Waterwise Gardening” guide