EDITORIAL: Shortages of water worsens

NANAIMO: Plans to conserve water can’t happen too soon for the environment and residents.

Glance out the window on a stormy, wet fall or winter day and the thought of harvesting rainwater in Nanaimo would likely be the furthest thing from most people’s minds.

Why? We have so much.

But a month ago residents were marvelling at ‘Aug-tober’ weather following the driest August and September in Nanaimo on record. And while the Harbour City didn’t have the concerns over drought that plagued a number of communities in the province – including nearby Cowichan Valley, Courtenay and the Sunshine Coast – areas that rely on wells such as Gabriola Island, Cedar and Yellow Point that can normally make it through to September, are now seeing a lack of water in June.

And if an earthquake in Haida Gwaii can completely alter the flow of water to a hot spring, who’s to say aquifers in the central Island are not at risk.

That’s why the Regional District of Nanaimo’s plan to inform residents on the finer points of rainwater collection makes sense.

Why should we be using water that costs taxpayers millions of dollars to treat for consumption to wash cars, water lawns or flush down toilets when technology allows a source to be collected and stored for days when there is not a cloud in the sky?

There’s no guarantee water will flow forever. It’s a finite resource that most of us take for granted when we turn on our taps, and unfortunately abuse.

Any effort from individuals or a community to conserve water goes a long way in helping us all to survive. It’s all a matter of desire to do the right thing.

Water means life, and collecting and storing it for the proverbial ‘rainy day’ when it’s needed the most is a no-brainer.