EDITORIAL: Saving water not so difficult

Every resident can take steps to ease pressure on water supply.

The plan to offer $500 rebates for rural residents to install rainwater collection cisterns is such a natural you have to wonder why we aren’t already doing it.

While residents in Yellow Point and on Gabriola Island have long struggled with concerns about their groundwater aquifers, water supply isn’t just a concern for those people relying on wells.

Despite our typical ‘Wet Coast’ weather and seemingly abundant supply in our rivers and lakes,  water should be a concern for everyone.

Simply consider the recent uproar over spending $65 million on a new water treatment plant for Nanaimo, and think about how much of that water we pay hard-earned tax dollars to protect from contamination and make suitable for drinking then gets dumped back on the ground for lawns and gardens.

It makes no sense.

We waste water without a second thought, whether it’s watering or flushing or running the tap for dishwashing.

Rebates to motivate people to install cisterns in rural areas will help protect groundwater, but we should also encourage urban residents to do the same.

Or since we have already treated water for drinking, simple rainbarrels collecting water from our gutters for gardens or other non-consumption uses would be sensible to reduce the pressure on our own supply.

Given the moderate cost and minimal footprint of such barrels, why not require all new construction to include them, thus reducing the stress on our water supply and the cost of water treatment, as less will be poured back into the ground.

There is plenty we could be doing to protect our water and reduce our cost, we just need to make it a priority.