It’s Hip to Fix a Drip
Fresh water is Canada’s most precious resource, vital to our ecology, economy and wellbeing.
Although it is relatively abundant in Canada compared to the rest of the world, fresh water is a finite
resource not to be taken for granted, and yet Canada’s water consumption rates are among the
highest in the world. In 2011 the average Canadian residential water use was 251 litres per person
per day (LPD) whereas the World Health Organization advises 50-100 LPD is required to meet home
health and safety needs.
In the Cowichan Valley, door to door surveys that year had shown that 92% of people felt that water
conservation was important, yet the average daily residential per capita water use here was even
higher than the Canadian average. At the same time, worsening drought conditions in summer and
early fall were becoming the new normal for the region’s climate, and a growing population was
placing greater demands on the water supply.
The Cowichan Watershed Board is a collaborative partnership between Cowichan Tribes First Nation
and Cowichan Valley Regional District. It was created in 2010 to provide leadership for sustainable
water management to protect and enhance environmental quality and the quality of life in the
Cowichan watershed and adjoining areas. As such, in the summer of 2014, the Board initiated the
Cowichan Water Conservation Challenge, a five-year region-wide challenge to pull people together
with a goal of reducing household water use by 20 percent.