Conservation is the answer

While I agree that conservation is not the only solution it is, by far, the easiest and most effective.

This letter is in regards to the recent water conservation editorial.

While I agree that conservation is not the only solution it is, by far, the easiest and most effective.

Rainbarrels are neither expensive nor prohibitive; one or two in an average-sized yard could meet all personal outdoor water needs. We harvested a plethora of vegetables, enjoyed hanging baskets and many potted plants, with ease, all while rarely turning on a tap.

Lowering or even eliminating residential outdoor tap water use would immediately resolve those high water-use peaks during the height of summer that the city is using to “prove” a shortage.

Misuse of city water, and disuse of surplus rain sources, is not a shortage.

Contrary to what is written in the editorial we did not have a watering ban in 2011. Bans were briefly in place prior to this year and were very effective.  I can understand the confusion; while the city is shouting its running-out-of-water anthem it is reneging on conservation methods that work. Don’t actions speak louder than words?

And with the debate and onus focusing on residents, we ignore the incredible potential for industrial water savings.

“Even 20 per cent (conservation) doesn’t stave off the point where overall demand exceeds supply.” But the city needs a minimum of 20 per cent conservation for its Stave Lake P3 projections to be accurate; conservation is required, no matter the route taken.

The $300-million P3 price tag is just a dream without conservation. And the city is counting on 40 per cent conservation before 2030, or we will exceed the capacity of the Stave Lake contract – and will “run out” of water.

So, how is conservation not the answer? It is the solution to our immediate water wastage woes. It is the solution to not giving our water access over to a private operator, as conservation will give us plenty of time to build up our financial reserves so we can own and operate a system.

It is the solution to high, and climbing, water rates.  Ignoring reality is city hall’s forte, but it doesn’t have to be ours.


Laurie Hoekstra

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