Sutton managed to reduce her water usage to 16 cubic metres from 26 cubic metres over two billing periods (four months), resulting in a decrease to her water bill to $19.20 bi-monthly from $31.20 bi-monthly. For her efforts, she was awarded with a low-flush toilet, a rain barrel and a low-flow shower head on Wednesday afternoon.
She said it really didn’t require a lifestyle change to cut down on her water consumption. She said she took shorter showers, stopped using her garburator in her kitchen, opting for a compost bin instead, and she made an effort to save water from washing vegetables so she could reuse it to water her outdoor plants.
Sutton said when she was younger and living in the country outside of Kamloops, she remembers having to haul water to her home from a neighbour’s well, so she can appreciate the convenience of having running water on tap in her home. She added it is easy to take that for granted.
“When you read about third-world countries, how they have to walk miles and miles to get water, and we just turn on the tap, and not only that, we have hot water coming out of the tap too.”
She said she already has a rain barrel and low-flow shower head, but will find a use for both. She added she had been pricing out a low-flush toilet, so she is pleased to now have one. She said she is eager to find out how much more water she can save with her new equipment.
Kerry DeVuyst, acting foreman for the city’s water and environmental department, said appliances such as low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and front-loading washer machines can really make a big difference in conserving water and saving money. He added while it wasn’t a big issue this summer, making sure to water lawns conservatively and during the morning and evening to avoid losing water to evaporation is also an important part of water conservation.
Melanie Turcotte, sustainability clerk for the city, said while they only had a handful of residents participate in the Water Use Challenge – and no businesses or institutions – they hope with Sutton as a champion they can increase the interest in the challenge next year.