Barbeque, fireworks, and a fun day with the family! From our family at Plumbing Paramedics to yours, we’re wishing you a wonderful and safe Canada Day.
Canada is a beautiful country. The mountains are awe inspiring as they touch the clouds. Our prairies sprawl in endless yellows and greens as far as the eye can see. Our numerous lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers welcome beavers, fish, and people. We are fortunate to have 20% of the world’s freshwater supply, and about 7% of the global renewable, freshwater supply. Perhaps because of this wonderful gift, Canadians have the privilege of forgetting how vital water is. Which is why, this Canada Day, we’re asking Canadians to give our nation and the next generation a gift — water.
While Canada is blessed with an abundance of water, many of our metropolitan areas — including Calgary, are drawing dangerously close to having threatened access to enough clean water for everyone. Currently, 20-40% of Calgary’s natural water access is withdrawn. As more people move to our city, we’ll need to start changing our habits in order to ensure there’s enough water for everyone.
On average, each Canadian uses 329L of water every single day. That’s more than double what our friends in France, the UK, or Germany use. So what’s going wrong?
Down the Toilet.
About a third of Canadians’ water use is the toilet. Part of the problem here is that the Albertan government doesn’t allow grey water to be used in toilets. Grey water is the slightly dirty used water (from hand washing, for example) that many countries reuse in their toilets. But another potential issue is old, inefficient toilets.
Toilets are highly durable, so we understand why homeowners and businesses may hesitate to replace them. But an older toilet can use just under 14L of water with each flush. If you use the washroom about 5 times a day (the Canadian average), that adds up to over 70L of water — or more than half of an average German’s total daily water use. A new, ultra low flow toilet uses half that amount.
Bathing & Showering.
There is nothing like a wondrously hot shower, and we can completely empathize with Canadians who shower or bathe every day (even if from hygiene and skin health perspective, it’s excessive). However, baths and showers is where Canadians are using up another full third of their water usage — or about 75L for an 8 minute shower.
One of the best ways to curb your water use is to install a low-flow shower head. The newer low-flow shower heads are sophisticated and use significantly less water to deliver the same water pressure and feel. You may also want to set a five or six minute timer, so you can get a sense of how much time has passed and hop out a little quicker.
Happy Birthday, Canada! And Happy Canada Day to all of our fellow Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Let’s work together this year to make sure Canada stays beautiful (and blessed with abundant water) for generations to come.