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Grand Falls-Windsor seeks to save water and cash

Newfoundland and Labrador residents’ water consumption is more than double the Canadian average.
Newfoundland and Labrador residents’ water consumption is more than double the Canadian average. - Submitted

Town council sees presentation on water consumption

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Grand Falls-Windsor town council was the first to be presented with Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador’s (CCNL) findings on water usage and conservation in the province.

“The biggest finding they found in their work was that Newfoundland’s usage per capita was 585 litres per day,” said Coun. Darren Finn. “The Canadian average was 235 litres. So, in Newfoundland and Labrador, we consume 350 litres of water more than other Canadian provinces. We overuse more than the average.”

The presentation, which was delivered by water resources and conservation project co-ordinator Katie Power, focused on an estimation of water usage in Newfoundland, people’s opinions on water conservation, and proposing solutions to reduce water usage based on those two things.

“Their entire focus is about education to the public,” said Finn. “In gathering their research in Newfoundland and Labrador, they developed some recommendations.”

CCNL suggested residents could start using water-restrictive devices, such as low-flow shower heads and toilets. CCNL also said residents could lower their water usage with some minor behavioral changes, such as shorter showers or turning off the tap while brushing their teeth.

CCNL said that showers and baths in homes across Canada represented about 35 percent of water usage. A mechanical change in shower heads could reduce the litres used for showers in households by roughly 30 per cent per year, from 75,000 litres in a typical household to around 55,000 litres.

“They found the same research results with shutting off water while brushing your teeth,” said Finn. “So, those are things you can do. In their baseline, they said that generally only 39 per cent of the public are supportive of water conservation measures, but there’s another 17 per cent that aren’t supportive of it.”

Finn added that when CCNL introduces education to the public, the support grows dramatically.

“Saving water equals saving money,” said Finn. “Because we treat every litre of water. We pay in the range of three quarters of a million dollars just in our water treatment per year. So, every litre saved reduces the chemicals we have to use.”

Finn noted that he was intrigued by the presentation and that saving water would have an economic impact on the town. He also suggested the town could do more to educate the public, such as making the cost per litre known, as well as letting residents see their consumption on a regular basis.

Town council will continue to discuss water usage and conservation.

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