Community Water Consumption
What is the indicator and why measure it?
Water consumption is measured by the Region as it is responsible for the pumping and treatment of drinking water as well as wastewater treatment. Monitoring the total use of water reflects how effectively water resources are utilized within a community as a function of its population size, land use and economy. The Region of Waterloo has a wide variety of water conservation programs to help preserve this natural resource while saving money for local residents and employers. As one of the largest users of groundwater in North America, sustainable use of this resource has been a priority in this community for many years.
Water reduction target
Community water consumption is expected to increase over time as the regional population grows. The goal is to stay below the anticipated red line in the following graph which represents projected water consumption by the year 2016. Waterloo Region has achieved a 12% decrease in community water consumption from 2001 – 2012 even though the population for Waterloo region in the Integrated Urban System service area (including the tri-cities, Elmira, St. Jacobs and Lloyd Brown and representing 95% of total consumption) has increased 20% during the past 10 years.
Water efficiency initiatives
- Toilet replacement and rebate program
- Water Conservation By-law
- Rain barrel program
- Education/awareness programs for residents, and the industrial, commercial institutional sector
These initiatives help reduce water consumption per person which is important for the efficient use of this critical natural resource. Over the past several years, the Region of Waterloo's water efficiency programs have contributed to a reduction of water consumption by 22% per person in the community despite a service population increase of 100,000 people during the years 1999 - 2012 (see graph below).
Water consumption also affects the Region's energy consumption and therefore any water efficiency improvements can also reduce associated air emissions from power required to pump and treat water. The design, construction and renovation of Regional facilities also affects water consumption which is reflected in the "Region's Sustainable Building and Construction" progress indicator.
For more information, visit the Region's Water Services website.