Living in British Columbia and the Lower Mainland, we are spoiled with clean water to drink, water our gardens, and wash our clothes and lawns. Although water can be plentiful, we still need to understand ways to conserve it as it’s a valuable resource. In 2015 sixty-four temperature records across British Columbia were broken during the summer heatwave. Below are several tips to help conserve water in your home and during the summer and all year round.
In our home, the toilet uses more water than any other appliance including showers and washers. Installing a low-flow toilet will help conserve water as will using full loads when washing your clothes or using your dishwasher. Turning the tap off while you brush your teeth and filling up a container of water to chill in the fridge are small ways to conserve. Also, be sure to take shorter baths and showers. Filling up a container of shower water, free of soap, can be used to water your garden as well.
In the summer, we generally use more water due to gardens and washing our cars. However, there are several ways to conserve water when outside in the summer. First, water your garden in the morning by hand watering the soil. Doing this will keep the water from evaporating during the heat of the day. Placing mulch around plants also helps to store moisture if you have water restrictions. Don’t water your lawn unless you have to, and only wash your car if your windshield or mirrors are dirty. After you’re done using the hose, make sure you have a shut-off valve installed to keep the water from running when not in use.
Taking note of what vegetables or plants thrive in dry environment can prove to be beneficial for conserving water. Plants that use less water will need to be watered less often and will require less maintenance overall. Planting trees to provide shade will help keep the soil moist and moving planters during the hottest part of the day will keep your flowers from wilting.
According to the The Weather Network Early Summer forecast, the west will still have its share of hot and dry weather, but excessive heat and drought should not be as big of a concern as it was during the past two summers. That being said, using the tips above will help you use less water and conserve more. These tips are especially beneficial if the record breaking heatwave does return to BC and bring water restrictions again for 2016.