You’re at home cooking yourself some dinner. You fill your plate but before you sit down to eat you walk over to the garbage can and dump a quarter of your meal.
Insane? Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing with our drinking water.
In Ontario, some new numbers were released today and they’re staggering. A study by professors in the University of Toronto’s civil engineering department found that municipal water systems across Ontario have leakage rates of treated water ranging from 10 to 50 per cent, with the average conservatively estimated at 25 per cent. This, they estimate, translates into $700 million annually that taxpayers are paying for water that never reaches their taps.
“That’s some 327 million cubic meters of water lost each year — enough to fill about 131,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” according to the study, which was done in partnership with the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario. Then there’s all the energy that’s used to treat and pump that lost water and the environmental consequences of having it leak into the ground, where sinkholes can form and basement can flood.
This isn’t the kind of thing consumers like to hear when they’re being asked to conserve water, install low-flush toilets, use rain barrels, and let their lawns and flowers go brown. Continue reading Losing the water we have is unacceptable in a time of water scarcity