Make your pledge!

Make your pledge for Drinking Water Week, and beyond! Pledge to protect our water in BC by taking any or all of the simple water wise actions below.

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Take the Challenge

Submit a water wise pledge by clicking on one of the icons below.

Don't forget to keep up your commitment to protecting our water during Drinking Water Week, and all year round! 

I will limit my shower time to 5 minutes per day

Every minute less you spend in the shower results in greater water savings. Increase your water efficiency even more by replacing your showerhead with a new low-flow model that uses an average of 5 litres per minute. Older showerheads use around 14 litres of water per minute! 

What Can I Do?

Install an inexpensive shower timer (for example, an hourglass or hand-crank spring timer) in the shower to help you monitor and reduce your shower time.

Take a ‘sailor shower’ - turn off the water while you're soaping and shampooing, then rinse off quickly.

Most CSA-approved showerheads and faucets will have their flow rates stamped on them. By installing one of these devices, a typical household could save up to 1000 litres of water each week - not to mention the extra energy savings!

I will install a water-efficient fixture or appliance in my home

Replacing an 18-litre-per-flush toilet with an ultra low volume 6-litre or less model leads to a 66% savings in water flushed and will reduce indoor water use by about 30%. Replacing other fixtures and appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and shower heads with more efficient models can also significantly decrease your water use.

What Can I Do?

Look for the WaterSense label on retail shelves across BC when purchasing appliances. The WaterSense program is an initiative of the US Environmental Protection Agency. BC has signed on to become a Promotional Partner in order to promote water-efficient products and practices throughout the province.

Newer model front-loading clothes washers use 35 to 50 percent less water and 30 percent less energy than standard washers. Take water-efficiency one step further and install a dual-flush toilet that uses 6 litres of water to flush solid waste and only 4 litres for liquid waste.

Fix that leaky toilet - a toilet that continues to run after flushing can waste up to 200 000 litres of water in a single year! To find out if your toilet is leaking, put two or three drops of food colouring in the tank at the back of the toilet, and wait a few minutes. If the colour shows up in the bowl, there's a leak.

I will use less water outdoors by giving my lawn only the amount of water it needs (2.5 cm of water each week, or the height of a tuna can)

During the summer months, water usage in BC communities can double because of outdoor use, which puts stress on distribution and treatment systems. Watering no more than 2.5 cm once per week is all that most lawns need to be healthy, and establishes the deep roots needed to help turf survive hot, dry spells. Place an empty tuna can on your lawn when your sprinkler is on – once it’s full, you’ll know your lawn has all the water it needs. 

What Can I Do?

Choose water-efficient plants that don’t need much extra watering, if any, after the first year in your garden. On days when it has rained, water your lawn less and turn off your automatic irrigation system if you have one. You might even consider a “golden” brown lawn for the summer and not water it at all!

Where possible, install a rain barrel and use the water you collect for your lawn, garden, and/or indoor plants. Collecting rainwater for watering needs uses very little energy compared to watering with treated water, which requires enormous amounts of energy to clean and pump it to your tap.

Reduce your outdoor water use by washing your car with a spray nozzle instead of a hose. Using a running hose to wash your car can waste about 400 litres of water, while using a spray nozzle attached to the hose, along with a bucket and sponge, will use as little as 100 litres.


I will turn off the tap when brushing my teeth, scrubbing dishes, shaving, or during any other water wasting activity

Each minute your faucet is running, an average of 13.5 litres is going down the drain! Turning off the tap while doing these activities, even just for a few minutes, can help reduce the amount wasted. Low-flow aerators can lead to even greater reductions, bringing the flow rate of your tap down to about 6 to 9 litres per minute.

What Can I Do?

Think before you wash! Washing your dishes by hand uses more water and energy than running your dishes through an automatic dishwasher.

When shaving, fill the basin instead of letting the water run continuously and save 10 to 20 litres of water each time.

Conserving water also means conserving electricity: running a tap for 5 minutes can use as much energy as a 60-watt light bulb burning for 14 hours.

I will not put harmful substances such as cleaners, paints, pesticides and grease down my drain

When harmful substances go down your sink, toilet or storm drain (or to the landfill), they eventually end up in our rivers, lakes and oceans where they can cause environmental damage. Fats, oils, and grease from food waste can also stick to the inside of sewer pipes and are costly for municipalities to remove. Compost food scraps whenever possible instead of washing them down your drain.

To find out where and how to dispose of harmful substances and household wastes, visit the Recycling Council of BC's Recyclepedia.

What Can I Do?

Some chemicals found in household cleaners can be harmful to your health, and to fish and aquatic life. To find out which substances to avoid, and how to create your own environmentally-friendly alternatives at home, visit:

Limit your use of harsh chemicals such as lawn and garden pesticides as much as possible. Pesticides can pollute soil and groundwater, and can be carried into surface water by run off. Learn more by visiting the Health Canada website.

Remember to return unused and expired medications to your nearest pharmacy for proper disposal. Dropping off unused medications at the pharmacy prevents these substances from entering our waterways, where they can have negative effects on our ecosystems.