Editorial: We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by conserving water

It’s time to start considering before you haul out the power washer for any reason

With all the warm and dry weather we’ve had this spring so far, are we in for Junuary (January weather in June)?

Not according to meteorologists. It was announced this week that we can look forward to much of the same in the forecast this summer, with B.C. looking at a hot, dry season, unlike most of the rest of Canada. This also means we’re staring down a high risk of droughts and forest fires. Not good news. This while parts of B.C. are under an air quality warning due to wildfire smoke from Alberta.

Right here at home the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society has already been out scouring the drying tributaries to Cowichan Lake in a bid to rescue as many salmon fry as possible. They’ve commented on how low the water is already, and how some areas that normally have fry are barren.

It’s becoming an annual thing for them, the need to rescue fry from dry creekbeds, streams and rivers. We don’t want to know what will happen to our fish populations should they cease their rescue efforts.

If you haven’t started your own water conservation efforts yet this year, it’s time to do it — before we reach a critical point. Then, municipalities will step in with mandatory restrictions. If you hadn’t heard, many residents are already under Stage 1 watering restrictions, which kick in annually for the Municipality of North Cowichan, the Cowichan Valley Regional District, City of Duncan, Town of Lake Cowichan, Mill Bay Water District and Cowichan Bay Water District on May 1. This is the lowest level. We do not want to get to Stage 3.

So it’s time to start considering before you haul out the power washer for any reason, leave the hose running while you wash the car (something you should train yourself out of all year long), or wash the sidewalk. You may wish you could get all that water back later. Other easy changes include not leaving the tap running while washing dishes or brushing your teeth, and collecting grey water or rainwater for your garden.

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain with early conservation.

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