The Chronicle Herald (Metro)

Try these easy steps to conserve water


With the world opening up again post COVID, we're at a crossroads when it comes to climate change.

It's a great opportunit­y to put climate change and a greener pathway forward at the forefront, says Emily Kennedy, the climate change coordinato­r for the Municipali­ty of Kings, in Kentville.

"We've seen firsthand the power of human action, when we stop living in a 'business as usual' frame of mind," she says.

Last year, waterways and skylines cleared in a matter of weeks when the world came to an abrupt halt, she says.

“Now that things are moving again, we're at the risk of going back to those same patterns,” says Kennedy.

The Intergover­nmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned if we don't make significan­t efforts this year, at a global scale, we won't hit our 2030 targets. Those goals are to make greenhouse gas emissions 50 per cent of 2010 levels and net zero by 2050, she explains.

“We have six months left to reach those IPCC goals,” says Kennedy. “Keep in mind the impact we had last year, it's still possible to get back on track if we all put in the effort.”

We can all do our part towards these goals, says Kennedy, although many feel discourage­d as it's sometimes hard to see the difference one person can make.

“'If it's only me doing these things, what's the point?' is a frequent concern I hear," she says. "But if we're all saying that, and doing these things, maybe we are having a bigger impact than we realize."

The informatio­n on what we can do to make a change is constantly changing, says Kennedy. This sometimes makes it hard to keep up – especially with so many different sources offering different views.

Conserving water is a great place to start.

The average Canadian uses approximat­ely 335 litres of water a day, and less than 10 per cent of that relates to food and hydration, she says.

“There are lots of things we can do to conserve water. The most important of which is to just not use it,” says Kennedy. “As we say, the best kind of water is the water we don't use.”

Kennedy offers the following tips to help conserve water indoors and outdoors:


Turn it off. When brushing your teeth shaving or showering, turn off the tap.

Install low-flow showerhead­s and set a timer. The average shower length in Canada is five minutes. Each minute uses approximat­ely 9.5 litres of water with a standard showerhead. That's just under 50 litres of water down the drain per shower.

Switch to low flush toilets. Each flush with a standard toilet uses 3.5 gallons of water.

Check for leaks in the toilet, faucets, and pipes.

Use a two-sink system when washing dishes by hand. Fill one sink of soapy water and another with clean water to rinse your dishes.

Do full loads of laundry (and use cold water to save energy).

Keep a container of drinking water in the fridge, instead of running the tap until the water reaches your preferred temperatur­e. The average kitchen faucet allows four to eight litres of water per minute to flow.


Collect rainwater to use later in your garden.

Slow the water by using your landscape to divert water from rain and your eaves trough towards your lawn or garden instead of going straight to the drain.

Turn it off - make sure you aren't leaving the garden hose running if you aren't using it.

Check for leaks at the faucet and along the garden house.

Plant drought-friendly and/ or native plants.

If you need to water your garden or lawn, do so early in the morning.

For the little ones, use a kiddie pool instead of a sprinkler. Depending on the size of the hose you use, you could be wasting between 2,385 to 7,040 litres of water per hour using your sprinkler (that's 40 to 117 litres per minute). The average kiddie pool uses 7,033 liters.


There are plenty of other things that can have benefits to the environmen­t and one's pocketbook, says Kennedy.

Using power and water only when necessary means fewer resources required and less money spent to pay for these services. Even something as simple as relying on natural light instead of turning on a light every time you enter a room can have an impact, says Kennedy.

Purchasing locally, especially grocery items, supports the local economy, and the products tend to last longer than what you'd find in a traditiona­l grocery store, leading to less food waste, she says.

Using public or active transporta­tion options is great for reducing the number of cars on the road and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as health benefits, both physical and mental.

"A great way to start at the household level is really to just try to be aware of your actions and recognize that you're not always going to get everything 100 per cent, but that you're making an effort," she says. "If we all do that, then we're already ahead."

 ?? STORYBLOCK­S ?? Taking steps to conserve water can be as simple as collecting rainwater to use in your garden later.
STORYBLOCK­S Taking steps to conserve water can be as simple as collecting rainwater to use in your garden later.

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