Water is a finite resource that is vital for ourselves and the environment, making it extremely important to conserve for continued access.
As summer is now in full swing, a lot of importance is placed on water conservation and how to use your water as efficiently as possible. This is important in communities like Invermere or Windermere where the water infrastructure isn’t substantial and can only handle so much demand. The District of Invermere’s water system is fed by surface and groundwater. Although there is a constant supply, the high amount of seasonal visitors puts a strain on the system in the summer. In addition to an increase in the number of people using the system, the warmer weather of summer means more watering of gardens & lawns as well as playing & cooling down with water outside. This increase of dependency on the system means that you have to be smarter and more cognizant of your water use.
Conserve When Watering
To ensure water systems have time to replenish and avoid excessive use during peak hours, both the District of Invermere and Regional District of East Kootenay have restrictions on when you can water. A watering restriction bylaw is in place by the District of Invermere which involves having a Stage 2 watering restriction in place at all times. This means property owners can only irrigate twice a week on the specified days and times listed in the link above. This reduces pressure on the system and conserves source water. You’ll notice that watering is encouraged in the evenings or late at night. This is because it is cooler during these times reducing the amount of evaporation that occurs preventing wasted water. It is estimated that 50% of the water used outdoors is wasted due to inefficient methods. An excellent alternative to hose watering is using a rain barrel to collect rainwater and reuse that water for your garden. Additionally, do your research into how much water your plants actually need to avoid overwatering which wastes water and is harmful to the plants.
Water Conservation Inside
Each home is going to be different so it is important to take a few days and be conscious of your water use and reflect on how you could potentially reduce it. Did you know, using a dishwasher actually uses less water than hand washing? Simple things like using your dishwasher more, turning off the water when you brush your teeth or while rinsing vegetables and taking shorter showers all make a difference over time! Smaller changes that you make around the house really can help conserve water and lower your water bill! Additionally, it is important to maintain your water system and ensure there are no leaky pipes, hoses or faucets as they can waste a lot of water. Check out this USGS drip calculator to see how many gallons of water a few drips from a tap waste in a day or year! The below graph shows water usage for residential indoor homes according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. District of Invermere has a solution to reduce the amount of water used for toilets by having a “High-Efficiency Dual Flush Toilet Rebate“. With this program, you can get $100 back on your new toilet if it fits the requirements.