Protecting Drinking Water Sources a Top Priority for BC Residents

Awareness about how to protect water systems is the goal of Drinking Water Week, May 4-10

VANCOUVER, April 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Compared to Canadians in other provinces, British Columbians are among the most protective of our water resources, especially when it comes to preserving drinking water. RBC's 2014 Canadian Water Attitudes Study reveals that 81 per cent of BC residents believe that protecting drinking water sources will become a serious issue in British Columbia over the next decade.

Understanding  these attitudes and how to better manage our water use and water systems is one of the goals of Drinking Water Week 2014, a province-wide awareness campaign that challenges BC residents to learn more about their water, including how it is treated and delivered to their homes, and the costs involved with providing high quality and reliable water services.

"Of all of the resources in the world, water is one many hold most sacred, and British Columbians are no exception – we are pretty passionate about our H20," said Tanja McQueen, CEO of the BC Water & Waste Association. "Raising awareness during Drinking Water Week is about capturing that passion and increasing understanding of water as a system – from reservoir to tap to drain and back again. Water may be a "free" natural resource, but the pipes, pumps, and treatment systems to bring it to our taps and take it away from our toilets come at a cost. It takes planning and investment to ensure that our water systems remain safe and sustainable for the long term for every British Columbian."

The top 3 everyday actions British Columbians can undertake today to protect water resources include:

  1. Getting to know where your drinking water comes from, and what activities may be impacting water quality or availability within your watershed. Look for information about facility tours and activities at www.drinkingwaterweek.org.
  2. Disposing of household waste such as expired medications, cleaners, paints and grease responsibly instead of putting them down the sink or toilet. Flushing these items can result in costly backups in homes, problems at your local wastewater treatment plant, and harm to the environment.
  3. Reducing your water use by installing a water-efficient fixture or appliance at home and limiting outdoor watering.

Residents are encouraged to get involved in Drinking Water Week by attending one of the numerous fun, free community events and activities being held across the province, or they can make a personal pledge by entering Community Water Challenge online, by selecting one or all of the five simple water wise commitments, ranging from taking a five minute shower to installing water-efficient fixture or appliance in their home.  By taking the challenge and committing to a pledge, residents can also enter to win a two-night stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort, in Whistler BC.

Community Water Challenge pledges, educational resources such as kids' activities and a full list of community events for Drinking Water Week can be found at www.drinkingwaterweek.org.

About BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA):

The BCWWA is a professional association that represents the people who work every day to keep your water clean and safe – from the source to your tap and back to the source. More information can be found at www.bcwwa.org.

SOURCE BC Water and Waste Association

For further information: Media Contacts: Elisha McCallum, 778-668-0185, Elisha.Mccallum@fleishman.ca; Grace Hon, 604-688-2549, Grace.Hon@fleishman.ca