Whether it’s a record breaking hot summer or a rainy one, water conservation is important for individuals, homes and businesses to keep top of mind. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Risks Perception Survey, water security is one of the top three most concerning global risks facing the world today. The demand for freshwater continues to rise and global water requirements are projected to be pushed beyond sustainable water supplies by 40% by 2030. Agriculture already accounts for approximately 70% of total water consumption but, according to the World Bank, food production will need to increase by 50% by 2030 as the population grows and dietary habits change. The International Energy Agency further projects water consumption to increase by 85% by 2035 to meet energy production needs.
In addition, population pressures and the changing climate are only serving to compound current water demands. An assumption exists that Canada is blessed with abundant freshwater and need not be concerned with water scarcity. However, while Canada has 20% of the world’s total freshwater resources, less than half of this water is deemed “renewable”, meaning that it is useful and accessible for humans. The remainder of this freshwater resource is locked away in fossil water caches such as in aquifers or glaciers.
As water is essential not only for human life but for the production of food, energy, and products of all kinds, it is vital that it is managed sustainably to meet future needs.
In this region we use about 270 litres per person per day, (often called the residential annual average per capita). When you factor in commercial uses (for example to grow our food, run our businesses, institutions and public facilities) the average use is about 450 litres per person per day.
The major use of water inside our homes, up to a third, is from flushing the toilet.