Recently the District of Barriere sent out a survey around water usage in the area. The questions – and the answers to them – make interesting reading and show just how we view this important resource.
Question number one; asked several questions regarding how those doing the survey use or conserve their use of water. The questions included things like: Do you limit your shower time to five minutes or less? Have you installed a water efficient fixture or appliance? Do you turn off the tap when brushing your teeth/doing dishes?, etc. Seventy percent or more answered yes to each of these questions, except for the question as to whether or not you had a rain barrel or other rainwater collection system… to this one question, only 35 percent said yes.
Question number two: Would you expect the amount of your monthly bill for your clean tap water to be more, less or the same as what you may pay for each of the following utilities? (Utilities listed – cable/internet, electricity, heating, cell phone.) This question is the most interesting, as it reflects how much importance we are actually placing on our water. The majority (close to 70 per cent) of those who answered expect to pay less for water than for any of the utilities listed as part of the question, with less than 10 percent expecting to pay more. This is an interesting result… we expect to pay less for water, a necessity of life, than for our cell phones? I can see having to pay more for heating, (another item I would consider a necessity, especially during the winter), what with the cost of fuel today, but cell phones?
Question number three; several questions rolled into one again. Do you burn yard waste? Do you use the Eco-Depot? Do you have a compost bin? Do you recycle regularly? and Are you interested in a tour of Barriere’s water facilities? Approximately 80 per cent said they do not burn yard waste, while 90 per cent or more use the Eco-Depot and recycle regularly, and nearly 70 per cent said that they have a compost bin. Well done Barriere, these are excellent numbers. Regarding the question of a tour, of the over 100 replies received, nearly half said they would be interested in a tour of Barriere’s water facilities.
The survey certainly made me think a bit about my own water usage, and about what I’d be willing to pay to have continued access to it. In Canada, we can too easily take our water for granted. We are so used to just turning on the tap whenever we want some, that sometimes we forget what a privilege it is. According to the United Nations, 783 million people in the world today do not have access to clean water. Did you know that while 70 per cent of the earth is covered in water, only 2.5 per cent of that is fresh water? In Canada, we have approximately seven per cent of the world’s renewable water supply, and we have about 25 per cent of the world’s wetlands within our borders.
It makes you think.