As noted in the 5th Edition of “Maximum Performance Testing of Popular Toilet Models”, “virtually all toilet models sold in Canada and the U.S. meet both flush volume and performance requirements of the Canadian Standards Association and the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Mechanical Engineers.” However, “there remains some question as to whether models that meet the minimum certification requirements meet the expectations of the consumer.”
The City of Salmon Arm’s WaterWise program manager, Eugene Lalonde, can now say with certainty that “residents favour wise water use.” Findings from in-home water audits conducted during the summer of 2005 show conclusively that residents are becoming more aware of the need for water-use efficiency, and are more prepared to take the necessary steps to achieve it.
Vernon was one of the first cities in Western Canada to implement a comprehensive water-use efficiency program, including universal metering and conservation retrofits, a volume-based rate structure, toilet replacement rebates, and public education.
Sun Peaks Utilities Co. is a privately operated utility that provides water, wastewater, and gas service to about 5,000 residents at Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops. Since the resort was opened in 1992, water conservation has been a major focus. The resort has implemented universal metering, made low-flow plumbing fixtures mandatory, and encouraged minimal landscaping in its efforts to reduce water use. Although Sun Peaks’ groundwater sources are reliable, so that supply is not a significant issue, the water savings that can be achieved through conservation reduce the costs of water treatment and wastewater disposal, and increase the number of housing units that can be serviced from the existing water supply.
A directed studies project initiated in January 2004 set out to investigate performance measurement of water conservation programs in B.C. and other jurisdictions. One case study of note involves the South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID), where 85 percent of the water supply is used to irrigate crops. Metering these agricultural connections has not only reduced water demand, but has also made it possible to verify actual water requirements, both for individual landowners and for the district as a whole.
The 2004 Water Conservation Survey—conducted by the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection and the Water Sustainability Committee of the B.C. Water and Waste Association—showed that only 29 percent of water utilities are using performance measures to determine if they are achieving their water conservation objectives. Of note, though, is that almost half of those not using performance measures are considering doing so in the future.