Every drop of water counts! At least that was the case for much of Southern Ontario in 2016 when we experienced record breaking drought conditions. The Lower Trent Conservation watershed region experienced a 7-month drought advisory throughout most of 2016, which was lifted in February 2017.
Last year, beginning in early June, a Level 1 low water condition was declared due to the lack of rainfall and low flows in creeks and streams in the area. By early July, the Level 1 was upgraded to Level 2, which meant there was potential for major supply issues in the watershed region. Water users were asked to reduce their water consumption by 20%. In September, the northeastern portion of the watershed (Stirling-Rawdon & Centre Hastings) was upgraded to Level 3, which is the most severe level, meaning that the water supply no longer meet the demands of the people. These water response levels are part of the Ontario Low Water Response Program which helps coordinate and support local responses to prolonged periods of low stream flows or precipitation.
During these drought conditions, and beyond, it is important for everyone to implement water conservation methods within their own household. As Canadians, with one of the largest supplies of fresh water on the plant, we tend to forget what a precious resource freshwater is and assume it will always be there. The truth is, we don’t know what the future holds. It’s important that we keep water conservation in our minds now, after experiencing such as severe drought, and always.
There are many ways you can reduce your water consumption at home. An easy and relatively inexpensive way to minimize your use outdoors, especially during the summer months, is to invest in a rain barrel. Rain barrels are an efficient way to collect water from your roof, and store it to be used on those drier days. The water is already there, so why not use it! Water collected by your rain barrel can be used for a variety of outdoor chores such as watering you lawn, garden and even washing your car!
There are a multitude of benefits from people investing in rain barrels, which can be experienced not only by home owners but the community at large. They include:
- Using rainwater will reduce the amount of tap water you use which will save you money on your water utility bill.
- Using less municipal water will help conserve energy by reducing the amount of water that needs to be treated and distributed by the municipal system.
- Rain water contains minerals that makes it a healthier choice for plants than treated tap water.
- Collecting rain water can reduce water pollution by minimizing storm water runoff; which can pick up pollutants from the land and deposit them into our water bodies such as nutrients, sediments, chemicals and bacteria.
If you are interested in investing in a rain barrel, we are holding a Rain Barrel Sale. Online orders can be placed from March 22 to April 23, 2017. Pre-ordered rain barrels will be available for pick-up on April 28, 2017 at the Lower Trent Conservation Administration Office from 10 AM to 6 PM.
“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water” – Benjamin Franklin
“No water, no life, no blue, no green” – Sylvia Earl