Is there power in a five-minute shower?
From both an environmental and an economic viewpoint the answer is ‘Yes!’
Fresh water is a finite – and valuable – resource. In fact, less than one per cent of the earth’s H20 is available freshwater, and that must be shared around the world.
Here in the capital region, we rely on winter rains to replenish the Sooke Lake Reservoir – water that must last through the entire year, including summer, when rains are infrequent, but water use is high.
What will the future bring?
Climate change and changing weather patterns are expected to bring shorter, more intense rain events and longer dry spells during summer. So, by making best use of the finite water stored in the reservoir, we can help ensure there’s sufficient drinking water for the year, enough water for healthy streams and ecosystems, and the flexibility to deal with changing weather, evolving precipitation patterns and forest fires.
With the region’s growing population, the key is to use water wisely. By taking steps like using water-efficient fixtures, making water wise choices, and yes, reducing showering times, we can delay the need for costly infrastructure otherwise required to meet increasing demand.
The case for targeting showers
Beyond the environmental implications, high water use also has significant economic impacts, and showers are responsible for the second-largest amount of residential indoor water use, after toilets. In fact, a whopping 19 per cent of household indoor water in the CRD goes down the shower drain.
And it’s not only water you could be wasting: water heating is also the second largest energy user in the home.
The good news is that small changes can lead to big impacts. Here’s a look at how:
- Longer showers do not mean cleaner bodies, but limiting your shower to five minutes could save up to 10,000 litres of water a year (not to mention all that water-heating energy)!
- Switch to a high-efficiency showerhead (5.6 L/min) for even more water and energy savings
- Focus on what needs to be washed. Contemplate life’s existence in a park instead of the shower.
And for more waterwise bathroom tips:
- Turn off the tap while washing hands and brushing teeth
- Check for toilet leaks
Whether you’re a morning shower person or you prefer shower just before bed, keep it to five minutes to help reduce water waste in our region.
CONTEST: Tell the CRD how you plan to strive for a five-minute shower for a chance to win a Bluetooth speaker! Find contest details at www.crd.bc.ca/shower.