I had washed the car, since it is supposedly officially spring when the 24th of May weekend comes around. It is time to plant all those annuals in the garden that you just paid a small fortune for! Of course, it is also the time for Albertans to go for the first day of camping. We will now see pictures of the campers sitting around with various kinds of libations to rescue them from the foot of snow and cold that has enveloped them. The annuals so carefully planted will perish by Tuesday in the subsequent cold. I am not usually so negative, but it is Calgary and I have lived here since 1960, 53 years!
OK, so what has that got to do with TV commercials and water. I have a thing about how our fair city sees water usage. They sponsor the most irritating commercials on the 6 o’clock news, showing us all about leaking taps, toilets, and all kinds of water usage things. They do their utmost with these commercials to convince us that we really need to think about conserving water. We should never clean off our driveway with a hose since all that pesky water will simply go into the storm sewers where it will go into the river untreated. But are you aware where all the salt, dirt, oil, and spilled antifreeze from accidents, etc. goes to? Yep, the river, untreated! And who pray tell puts all that gravel and salt on the road anyway? The same city that spends a lot of my tax dollar telling me I should not ever wash my driveway off. It’s all dust anyway, the same kind that falls naturally onto the roads and into the river. So, what am I hurting?
The other argument that is in all these commercials is that we must conserve water, do not waste it. OK, the theory is great if we were on wells, but the last time I looked at the mountains to the west, they were loaded with water in the form of snow, that is just waiting to melt, and flow by Calgary in the Bow and Elbow rivers. We then dam the rivers to produce our potable water that is treated for our consumption. If we don’t use it, it just goes along for someone else downstream to use. Water used in the home is later treated and returned to the rivers. How can we waste water doing that? Sure when we water our lawns and use water that way, some will be lost to evaporation.
If we used drilled wells like some communities do, it would make sense I suppose to save using up our well water until we really do need it. But If one looks at the mountains and the rivers, we have a supply that renews each and every year.
It is hypocritical to say the least that we spend a lot of tax money convincing us that we are water wasters when that is absurd when we use water and return it to the source. Regarding our contamination of all the water, (our dammed up water is not for swimming) but has anyone thought of all those fish doing all the things fish do, mating and defecating, or the birds that poop as they go on their merry way, not giving a thought to our water.
The only cost that I see to overuse of water shows up on the individuals water bill at the end of the month, User pays.
Oh, I almost forgot, one of the biggest wasters of our water is the city water works. The old mains we have should all be renamed “Old Leaky”! I think I read some years back the city estimates that leakage loss is around the 15% area. Could be.
So go wash your car, just don’t use soap, water is OK, and don’t let the city make you feel guilty.
Have a great day. Ross