Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wasted water in the North American Great Lakes


Environmental Defence Canada recently published a report, Down the Drain: Water Conservation in the Great Lakes Basin, that shows how wasteful and inefficient water use is in the Great Lakes region. Among notable facts:

«Canadians are among the world’s highest water users per capita, second only to the United States. Current estimates are that Canadians use on average 329 litres of water each day in their homes, the equivalent to over 650 bottles of water (500ml) per day» (p.4)

«the total number of dwellings with inefficient toilets in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence ecosystem is 4,351,601 – translating into roughly 10 million individuals using inefficient toilets in their homes. Using this information it was determined that a total 213 billion litres of water would be conserved annually by updating all remaining inefficient toilets to efficient ones.» (p.7)

«there is a potential water savings of over 65 billion litres each year if all inefficient shower fixtures in the Great Lakes basin were updated to newer, water efficient models.» (p.8)

«the potential water savings from changing inefficient clothes washers in the Great Lakes basin totals as much as 163 billion litres per year.» (p.10)

«Potential savings from introducing conservation measures on outdoor water use (like lawn watering) is approximately 140 billion litres per year.» (p.12)

As the St. Lawrence River sets record lows flows since the beginning of the year, the report makes an essential and timely point.

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