Ewan Jones and Zoltan Horvath
Special to The Record
We are students at Huband Park Elementary School in Courtenay and we are doing a Changemakers project that will help raise awareness about water conservation in the Comox Valley.
As you know, it did not snow on our local mountains this past winter so that means there will be no snow to melt during the summer and flow into our rivers and lakes. There has also been very little rain and it has been predicted to be a hot and dry summer. Because of these events our water reservoir is predicted to be the lowest it has been in over 50 years. Therefore, we desperately need to conserve water in every way we can.
We have a few tips about water use in the home that we would like share with everyone that could help the Comox Valley conserve water.
In the kitchen
The first thing to do is not let your kitchen faucet run endlessly. You can wash your vegetables and your fruits in a bowl instead of using the faucet. Also you could use your left over boiling water or use your old coffee or use any water in your house that you would not drink to feed your flowers and other plants. Another way to save water is use your dishwasher to wash dishes instead of in the sink. A dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand.
In the bathroom
You can save water by checking if your faucets are dripping, if they are get them fixed. Don’t let your faucet run while you brush your teeth or while shaving. If you take shorter showers than normal, each month that would save hundreds or thousands of litres of water. What some people do is take “Sailor Showers” where you turn the water on to get wet, turn it off to lather up, then turn it back on to rinse.
In the yard/garden
You should make sure that your sprinkler gets only on your lawn and not on your road or driveway. You could replace your lawn with drought tolerant plants and different landscaping that does not require grass. If you need to clean your car you should not let the hose run while not in use, or just not clean your car (unless it is a Ferrari). Also you can think ahead and get a rain barrel and fill it up in the fall or winter, and use that to water your garden. For your trees you could cover them up with a thick layer of bark mulch to reduce evaporation and you may not need to water them during the summer.
We hope that everyone will use some of our ideas to reduce water use this summer.
We would like to thank Mike Hershmiller and Karen Garrett of the CVRD for taking the time to answer our questions.