On average, Canadians use more water than we necessarily should. Your typical Canadian uses 329 litres of water per person, per day. That’s second only to the US and almost double what your average European uses. Calgarians are a little better than average. Typical water usage in Calgary is 7000L a month or about 230L per person per day. But that’s still a lot!
The World Health Organization estimates that every person could meet their basic need with as little as 20L a day. Of course, that doesn’t take into account convenient appliances, like dishwashers and washing machines, which many Canadians enjoy. And we’re not suggesting that you should give up these appliance — they’re huge time savers, and a dishwasher actually uses less water than hand washing! But Canadians can do better about choosing high efficiency models and not running these appliances frivolously.
Toilets are the number one water wasters. The worst offenders are older toilets that leak sporadically, and it can be difficult to tell by just look whether or not a toilet is leaking. Fortunately, there’s an easy test. Drip some red food colouring into the tank of your toilet before everyone heads out for the day. If red has leaked into the bowl when you get back from work, your toilet has a leak! Consider repairing leaking toilets and replacing old ones with a high efficiency dual flush model.
Washing Machines are the second biggest water hogs in the house. For many Canadians, the washing machine accounts for a full fifth of water usage! An old, top-loading washer may use up to 170 L of water per load compared to a modern, high efficiency front loader, which uses just over 55L per load. But remember, regardless of how efficient your machine is, it’s important to only run full loads. The fewer loads you can run the better it is for the environment and your utility bill!
We’ll admit that during the middle of January, it’s tough not to indulge in a long hot shower or bath every once in a while. But a long shower in particular is a huge waste of water. Showers should be quick (aim for 5 minutes) and utilitarian. For extra efficiency, you can choose a new shower head which cuts water usage without compromising pressure. Instead of opting for a continuous stream of water, if you want to pamper yourself, choose a bath, and only fill the tub once.
For many Calgarians, the New Year is all about choosing lofty goals to try and achieve over the next 12 months. If one of your resolutions is to be kinder to the environment, we suggest reducing how much water you use! Upgrade to a high efficiency toilet and shower head, and replace old appliances with new energy star ones. And if you need help from our Calgary plumbers to repair a leak or replace a toilet, give Plumbing Paramedics a call today at (403) 452-2911.