March 18-24 is Canada Water Week.
Not only is this precious commodity essential for life and the make-up of at least 60% of the human body, but it is embedded in the core of almost every item of food, clothing and product that we consume and use on a daily basis. Long story short: this lovely liquid is important on a small to grand scale.
According to Environment Canada, the average Canadian consumes nearly 6,400 litres of water every day. That’s over 220 billion liters per year. How much do you go through? Calculate your water usage here.
Here are some of the most draining culprits of fresh water supplies:
- About 81% of an individual’s water footprint is entrenched in the growing of non-livestock agricultural products, such as cotton.
- Raising cows for consumption is one of the biggest users and abusers of water: a beef cow uses 3.1 million litres over its lifespan and a steak dinner needs 15,500 litres of water to get to your plate.
- Creating feed for farmed chickens takes about 6,600 litres per chicken; approximately 2,400 litres for one dozen eggs to make it from farm to your fridge.
- 60% of all water withdrawn in Canada is sourced for thermal and power plant operations.
- Flushing standard toilets drains up to 20 liters per flush, accounting for nearly one-third of a home’s indoor water use. A 10-minute shower uses about 170 litres of water.
- One 60-watt light bulb turned on 12 hours every day for a year can consume upwards of 20,000 litres of water at an electrical power plant.
- 10% of all water used in Canada goes to the manufacturing sector in the creation of everything from MP3-players and laptops to lawn mowers and cars.
Our country’s water resources represent about 7% of the world’s total renewable freshwater supply and so it is imperative to conserve and contain water wherever we can. But knowing the statistics are only one side of it; you must also be aware of practical tips and tricks to facilitate only using what you need of this precious, dwindling commodity. Tips for water management can be as simple as turning off the tap when washing dishes or brushing your teeth, or investing in water saver appliances that can cut usage up to 25%.
Canada Water Week puts water in the forefront to remind us of the value of this resource. In the words of one conservation slogan: “Let’s keep it on tap for the future.”