Clearwater does not exactly have an dry climate but it apparently uses more water per person than some municipalities that do.
With an average use of 1,100 liters per capita per day, water use in District of Clearwater is much higher than that in the City of Kamloops, where average water use is only 800 lpcd.
That was why Lisa Clark, a drinking water engineer with Urban Systems, would like to see the District implement a water conservation plan.
Kamloops implemented a Watersmart program in 1992. Since then there has been a 23 per cent reduction in peak water demands.
Leaks in the system might be one cause for Clearwater’s relatively high water use, she told a public meeting held June 21 to discuss the District’s annual report.
Identifying and eliminating those leaks might be a good place to start.
She also recommended re-calibrating the District’s flow meters to ensure they are accurate.
Current water conservation practices include watering restrictions during the summer months. The District allows those living at even numbered addresses to water on even numbered days, and odd numbered addresses on odd numbered days. Watering is permitted from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. At present there is no bylaw and so enforcement is an issue.
The District also requires new residences and commercial customers to install water meters. However, the meters are not yet being monitored.
Potential water conservation measures mentioned by Clark included water metering, information and education, pressure management, reuse and recycling.
Water conservation has social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits, the engineer said.
These are the four pillars of a sustainable community.
Saving water would also save money, she said. Water conservation would become even more important if Clearwater’s population grows.
Most of Clearwater’s drinking water comes from its surface water source, which is the watershed located behind the ski hill.
The watershed consists of three creeks: Russell, Hascheak and MacDougall.
The community also draws water from two wells – one located across from Dutch Lake beach and the second in Reg Small Park by the Clearwater River.
Raw water is treated with sodium hypochlorite (bleach). UV disinfection is being added to the Russell Creek system this year.