Canada has a lot of fresh water and, it appears, we’re not afraid to use it. The average Canadian uses more fresh water per day than the average person anywhere else. And water here, though abundant, isn’t cheap. That means we pay a lot for our water every month.
You really don’t have to use as much water as you do. We’re going to show you how to audit your water use and take action to save based on your findings.
How to calculate water use from your bill.
Whether you get a paper or digital bill, the information is all there to calculate exactly how much you use.
If you have to calculate the daily use yourself, simply take the total amount of water and divide number of days in the billing period. It is likely measured in litres, so you don’t have to do any further conversion after that.
Now you know how much you use compared to the average Canadian (the average Canadian uses around 251 litres).
How to get your water use down.
Some of these you’ll already know. But if you know, why aren’t you doing it? A reminder might be all you need.
- Take showers, not baths. And keep your showers short and utilitarian.
- Use the dish washer instead of washing dishes by hand. Modern dishwashers are amazingly efficient. Most people will leave the faucet running as they hand wash, an incredibly wasteful habit.
- Water your garden early in the morning or at night after the sun goes down. If the sun is up, almost 50% of the water you use outside evaporates. So work around the sun. Or, even better, collect rainwater in a big tub and use that for your garden and lawn.
- Install new toilets. A new toilet could reduce your bathroom water use by up to 75%. There’s no reason to wait on this one, as it will pay for itself through savings very quickly.
- Fix leaky faucets. About 14% of all residential water is lost through leaking fixtures or pipes. You don’t have to run from faucet to faucet. Turn off all the water in the house and look at the number on your digital water meter. Wait an hour and re-check the meter. No leaks if the number is the same, leaks if the number has changed.
- Stop running the water when you brush your teeth or shave.
Reduce your hot water expenses.
Hot water is another costly reality of home ownership. But you can spend less on hot water if you:
- Do your laundry with cold water.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water tank. You don’t really need the ability to produce nearly-boiling water from the faucet, do you?
- Turn the water thermostat nearly off while you’re out of the house for the day. It will only take an hour or so to heat up again when you need it.
- Think about upgrading your old water tank to a modern insulated tank, or even a tankless water heater. You can also cut the cost of renting your water tank by purchasing. You’ll get a lower payment and a more efficient appliance.
If your family uses as much or more water than the average Canadian, it’s time to start reducing the waste (wasted water and wasted money).
You can calculate the cost of your new water heater purchase here and add that to the savings you’ll achieve by making the simple changes above.