Recent Hot Spell Increases City’s Water Usage

A sprinkler waters the lawn at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park on Monday, July 18, 2011. (CHRISD.CA)

Given the recent heat wave Winnipeg has been experiencing, it’s no surprise there’s an increase in water usage to help residents cool off.

The City of Winnipeg says water use reached a high on Monday of 19.5 million litres — the third highest on record in the last decade. If you’re wondering, the most water ever consumed in the city occurred back in 1988 at 40 million litres.

“The significant reduction in peak use during periods of hot dry weather demonstrates that Winnipeggers recognize that water is an essential resource and are embracing good conservation practices,” said Diane Sacher, manager of the city’s Water Services division. “Residents are continuing to retrofit to water efficient toilets, faucets, showerheads, and appliances.”

With the humidex on Tuesday, it felt like 48°C in Winnipeg — maybe a little extra H2O was justified.

The city says the amount of water used in the summer is typically two to four times greater that of winter water use. Refilling pools, watering gardens, flower beds and lawns all contribute to the increase.

If you’re looking to reduce your summer water usage and bill costs, the city offers these suggestions:

  • The best time for watering your lawn or garden is early morning, before the heat of the day.
  • Consider collecting rainwater for watering your plants or garden. Direct the downspout of your eavestroughs into a rain barrel or other large container and keep it covered with an insect screen.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn and garden is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • Check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
  • Use a pool cover to reduce water loss due to evaporation.
  • Sweep your driveway to clean it, rather than using treated drinking water.
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator to avoid turning on the tap too often and wasting water.

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