Opinion

Make water wasting a crime

Don’t waste another drop of water.

Not one.

Many Cowichanians are finally awaking to the fact our wonderful, seemingly endless water source is threatened by overuse and abuse, climate change, and pollution.

Just look at our near-dry river. Sadly, some locals remain blissfully ignorant of how precious our water supplies are.

Education and big newspaper ads advising against water use are helping to open their minds, but that’s proving too slow as seen by some folks merrily watering lawns, and even filling swimming pools.

Water wasters need far stiffer fines to make them change their ways.

Those measures may not be available yet, but valley bylaw officers should be busy handing out what meagre fines are on the local books now.

We’re that close to a valley-wide drought. Valley stakeholders are already working feverishly to save fish in our hot heritage river.

It may be too little, too late.

Years of taking our water supplies for granted have seen people power washing sidewalks, running taps while brushing teeth, ignoring yard-sprinkling regulations, flushing toilets on a whim, and other apathetic actions unheard of in countries where tap water is unsafe to drink.

Many Cowichanians are also buying bottled water — uncontrolled by health-quality laws — as if our aquifers are already empty. They will be if drastic measures aren’t taken now to stop water wasting.

North Cowichan, Duncan, and the CVRD must order water metering throughout the valley so users pay to pour.

That heavy measure may not help us this summer but it could bring us into the real world of dwindling water supplies by next year.

Meanwhile, let your lawn burn; sweep your driveway; take short showers; and flush your toilet only when necessary.

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