Conserving drinking water
Water is a valuable resource that we must protect and conserve!
Even though the Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot landscape features an abundance of water, we must remember that water is a limited renewable resource and that our water consumption and wastewater discharge have a significant effect on the environment. With that in mind, the provincial government has developed the Stratégie québécoise d’économie d’eau potable [Quebec strategy for drinking water conservation], which aims to reduce the per capita amount of drinking water produced by 10% in 2014 and by 20% in 2017.
Using water efficiently: The four Rs
- Reduce the amount of water used.
- Replace plants, appliances and devices with ones that require less water.
- Repair leaks, often by simply replacing a washer.
- Reuse rainwater by setting up rain barrels.
By observing the four Rs, each household can save tens of thousands of litres of water annually.
- Canadians are among the highest consumers of water in the world.
- Quebeckers use 150 000 litres of water per resident per year, or twice the amount that Europeans use.
- Excessive residential consumption results in significant operating costs.
- Up to 50% of the municipal residential drinking water consumed is used to water lawns.
- Experts estimate that we waste half the water we use.
Tips and tricks
- Do not empty your pool more than is necessary in preparation for winter. Treat the water instead of emptying the pool in the fall and refilling it in the spring. Keep the water level at least 15 cm below the edge of the pool, so that water will not splash out.
- Sweep entrances, patios, walkways and driveways.
- Wash your car at a car wash, when necessary.
- Do not aim for a picture perfect lawn.
- Avoid watering areas that do not need it.
- Do not water in the middle of the day, or during hot or windy weather. Water by hand.
- Avoid watering lawns or hardy, well-established plants, especially during droughts.
- Keep grass long (10 cm). Longer grass is more drought-resistant and keeps more moisture in the soil. Leave grass cuttings on the lawn and add shredded leaves to help the lawn retain more moisture.
- Spray close to the ground to reduce evaporation.
- Turn off the tap when you shave or brush your teeth. You will save more than 8 litres of water each time.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a sink filled with water, and not under a running tap.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the water until it is cold.
- Inspect water hoses and pool connections, and repair any leaks.
Replace, add or change
- Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation.
- Choose an outdoor sprinkler with an automatic shut-off and a rain gauge or moisture sensor, or use a timer.
- Use a coarse droplet sprinkler, a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to reduce evaporation.
- Replace grass with ground cover or drought-resistant plants.
- Add seeds of various kinds of drought-resistant plants (e.g. clover) to your lawn along with a thin layer of compost annually.
- Add compost to lawn and garden soil, and spread 8 to 10 cm of mulch on landscaped areas to increase moisture retention.
- Change what you buy—perennials consume less water than annuals. Follow the rule “the right plant in the right place” by planting plants in the appropriate soil and by choosing indigenous plants.
- Install a low-flow faucet aerator and reduce water consumption by 50%.
- Choose a water-saving dishwasher when it is time to replace your existing dishwasher. New models can reduce water consumption by 25%. As well, run full loads.
- Replace old toilets with new ultra low-flush toilets.
- Use rain barrels to collect water from eavestroughs.