Conserving Water in the New Year

Conserving Water is a Responsibility 

Conserving WaterAs we begin the New Year, you no doubt have fresh starts on your mind. Losing weight, saving more money or starting a new exercise routine usually top the New Year’s resolution lists. Those all make for worthwhile goals, however we would like you to add conserving water to the list.

For 2013, though, we would like to propose a different kind of resolution. The start of this year marks the beginning of the United Nations’ International Year of Water Cooperation and we plan to make some resolutions around water conservation.

Water conservation has so many benefits beyond simply reducing the demand for a precious resource. Conserving water has many side benefits as well. Even minimal actions can reduce runoff into the wastewater treatment system, lower utility costs across the system and reduce the risk of drought for a region.

Making resolutions can occur at home, at work and in your community. Here are some suggestions to get started on your conservation efforts in 2013.

At Home

Most conservation efforts, including everything from recycling to composting, start at home. And home, where you wield more control over habits and routines is a great place to start conserving water. You can break your home efforts into four categories: eliminating water waste, using technology to capture water, installing water efficient appliances and water recycling.

Some concrete steps you can take in these areas include:

  • Washing your car at a car wash, which recycles and treats water, rather than your driveway;
  • Sweep sidewalks rather than hose them down;
  • Harvest rain from rooftops in rain barrels for use in the garden;
  • Update appliances and install low flow showerheads, toilets, and dishwashers;
  • Or even consider recycling gray water.

At Work

Managing your environment at home is a great starting place for your new commitment to conserving water. Next, take your efforts to the workplace. At work, we sometimes fall into bad conservation habits because offices may lack systems to make conservation simple and easy or you might not be in a position to make wide spread changes. However, you can take steps at work to conserve water and begin to change the culture at work.

The first step many offices can take is to eliminate the use of bottle water. Tap water is just as clean as bottled water and does not cause as much waste. Invest in company water bottles, pitchers and cups for meeting rooms, or a water cooler where workers can access drinking water easily and you’ll start to see those plastic bottles disappear.

To go to the next level, consider working with your local utility. Often, local utilities have education programs or incentives for reducing water use. You may even be able to find funds for larger water projects like eco roofs, bioswails or permeable surfaces in your parking lot.

In Your Community

Making changes within your community is the next level of conservation and while it may seem difficult to make changes at such a macro level, there are steps you can take to get involved. Consider joining a local utility board, volunteering for a conservation organization or even attending local government meetings to make your voice heard.

Conservation Now and in the Future

Western Canada Water firmly believes in conservation as a means to provide safe drinking water and protect the environment. You can check out a more comprehensive list of conservation information and resources here.

We also recommend checking out Environment Canada’s Wise Water Use page and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Sense program. Both websites outline many things you can do now to conserve water.

Water is a resource we all share and through cooperation and conservation, we can ensure its viability for generations. Consider making your New Year’s resolution for 2013 a renewed commitment to preserving and conserving water at home, at work and in your community.