Canadians currently consume, directly or indirectly, approximately 340 litres of water per day. As a consequence of over-usage, pollution, and environmental degradation, water is becoming a dwindling resource. Reducing water consumed by your co-operative will result in drawing less water from surface and ground water supplies, thereby decreasing the burden on municipal water services and wastewater treatment facilities. LEED Green Building Rating System, Reference Package (NC), December 2004.
Install low-flow toilets and urinals (6L/flush or less). Dual flush toilets are available: 3L (liquids) or 6L (solids) per flush. Waterless urinals and composting toilets are available from various companies.
Install low-flow faucets (less than 5.5L/min) and showerheads (less than 6.8L/min) to save 30% to 75% of the water you use. Older showerheads have flow rates as high as 20 litres per minute.
Install occupancy sensors for toilet flushing and faucet operation. This is also a healthy choice from a sanitation perspective.
Install aerators on all faucets to reduce water usage without compromising water pressure.
Purchase water and energy efficient appliances like dishwashers and washing machines (e.g. Energy Star) and use them to their maximum potential (e.g. only run the dishwasher when full; select appropriate settings for different loads of laundry, and use the cold wash cycle).
Equip your site with an energy and water meter that monitors your energy, water use, and hot water use. Use the meter to educate yourself and others about how much hot and cold water your organization uses. Use the knowledge to modify your behaviour.
Use harvested rainwater to water indoor and outdoor plants.
Fix leaky faucets and running toilets. A leak of one drop per second wastes about 9,000 litres of water per year.
Adopt a flush policy in your washrooms: liquids stay; solids get flushed.