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Water Conservation

This page was last reviewed on July 5, 2024.

The Village of Cumberland has identified the goals of reducing the community’s summer water consumption and to encourage responsible water use, particularly in the summer months.

In 2011 Cumberland Council adopted a Water Conservation Plan which identifies action and regulatory mechanisms for the Village to take to conserve water. The plan also identifies the average summer water consumption target for the Village of 700 litres (0.7m3) per capita per day.

The Benefits of Water Conservation

  • saving money on water and energy bills
  • decrease or delay the need for expensive water capacity increases in the future
  • minimizing the impact on the environment
  • reduce Green House Gasses (GHGs)

What Can I Do?

  • make changes to your water use habits, especially your summer outdoor water use
  • make repairs to leaks
  • retrofit existing fixtures and appliances with more efficient devices

Calculate your indoor water use by using the ZeroFootprint Inc. One Minute Water Calculator

Find easy Actions to Do on the BC Living Water Smart page.

Water Savings Tips

Outdoor Water Use

  • Water your garden deeply and less frequently to form deep roots into the soil
  • Water late in the evening or early in the morning to reduce evaporation
  • Use mulch in your garden, such as bark chips, compost or straw to help conserve soil moisture
  • Aerate and top dress your lawn with organics to help conserve soil moisture
  • Set your mower height to leave at least 5cm of gras; leave grass clippings to decompose – they act as mulch to reduce evaporation
  • Your lawn only needs 2.5cm of water a week – control your automatic sprinkler to make sure you’re not over watering
  • Let your lawn go ‘dormant’ or golden in the summertime
  • Consider using drip irrigation, and use a watering can whenever possible.
  • Check for leaks in your hoses, micro-drip irrigation system, or in-ground irrigation system; if you have an in-ground watering system, check for wet patches in your lawn that do not dry
  • Plant hardy plants that are drought tolerant and suited for Cumberland’s colder climate
  • Monitor the weather and pause or turn off automatic irrigation systems during rain events

Outdoor watering is the biggest water use in the average home – often more than one-third of water use occurs outdoors. The average garden hose can deliver up to 27 litres of water per minute, so a split in the hose or a poor coupling could be wasting large amounts of water. Make sure the outdoor faucet is turned off after each use, because even small drips add up to big waste. Use garden water as wisely as possible.

Use these great resources on reducing your outdoor water use:


A leaking service line or pipe in your yard or home can add up to serious water waste. A small hole in a pipe (1.5 mm) wastes 280,000 litres of water in a three-month period. That is enough water to do about 900 loads of laundry.

Contact a local plumber if you think you may have a leak.


  • Replace your old toilet with a high efficiency 4.8 lpf model (HET), or a dual 3/6 lpf model.
  • Check for leaks in the tank – a toilet that continues to run after being flushed could be wasting 20 to 40 litres of water per hour or 15 to 30 cubic meters per month.
  • Do not let the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
  • Reduce your shower time
  • Replace your showerhead with a water-efficient model
  • Take a 5 minute shower instead of a bath or reduce the amount of water used in the bath by 5cm.

Laundry & Household Cleaning

  • Purchasing a high-efficiency washing machine; they use up to 40% less water and 50% less energy than top-loading machines. They also use less detergent.
  • Operate washing machines at full capacity and/or if your machine has a “suds-saver” feature, be sure to use it.
  • For regular household cleaning use a pail or bucket rather than running water.

On-Demand Hot Water Systems

  • Consider installing a point of use water heater or on-demand hot water system.


  • Retrofit all household faucets with water saving aerators or consider replacing with water efficient models.
  • Scrape dishes instead of rinsing them under running water before loading your dishwasher.
  • Compost kitchen wastes (organic matter) instead of using a sink garbage disposal system.
  • Operate automatic dishwashers at full capacity and/or set the water level for the size of your load. If you are considering the purchase of a new dishwasher, look for one that is water and energy efficient.

Visit these sites for more Conservation Tips and ideas:

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