Friday, August 29, 2008

Water Conservation Pledge

The global demand for water is enormous – and growing. About 3,800 cubic km of freshwater are withdrawn annually from the world's lakes, rivers and aquifers, twice the volume extracted 50 years ago.

Canada has some of the world’s most extensive water resources. But we also consume far more per person than in other countries. Each of us uses about 260 litres of water each day – about 10 times the global average.

Without clean, abundant freshwater life on earth would not exist. The majority of the world’s population depends on freshwater environments to provide water for drinking, irrigation, food, employment and recreation. So what can be done to preserve our precious water supply?

Many solutions exist, few of which are in any one person's hands. Like global warming, water conservation can seem overwhelming, like there's nothing any individual can do. But I firmly believe that if enough people adopt a culture of conservation in their lives that we can make a difference. A few months ago Nature Canada began asking its members to sign a Water Conservation Pledge, and commit to reducing their personal water consumption at home by 38 litres a day (that's 10 US gallons).

So far, our supporters have pledged to save 30 million litres (more than 8 million US gallons) of water this year, by doing just some of the following:

Don’t run the tap while shaving or cleaning your teeth
1 gallon (3.7 litres) a minute

Add an aerator to any tap
1 gallon (3.7 litres) a minute

Reduce the length of a shower by one minute
2.5 gallons (9.5 litres)

Install a low flow shower head
3 gallons(11.3 litres)a minute

Install a toilet tank displacement device
.5 gallon (1.8 litres) a flush

Run the dishwasher only when it is totally full
10 gallons (37.8 litres) each saved load

Water your lawn at night and save 65% lost to evaporationwhen watering during the day
5 gallons (19 litres) a minute

Will this be enough? Well, 30 million gallons saved may sound like a lot -- and it is! -- but far more Canadians need to conserve water to truly have an effect. And individual action alone simply won't be enough to ensure we have an adequate supply of clean drinking water. A comprehensive Canada-wide strategy needs to be in place involving provincial, federal and territorial governments, First Nations and community groups. With an election in the offing, this should be a top issue.
(Photo: Lake Superior)

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