Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit August 08, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Save water and take a shower instead: City of Iqaluit

Nunavut's capital encourages residents to conserve water

The City of Iqaluit is asking residents to opt for showers over baths, which use five times more water, to help reverse depleting water levels in its freshwater reservoir, pictured here. (FILE PHOTO)
The City of Iqaluit is asking residents to opt for showers over baths, which use five times more water, to help reverse depleting water levels in its freshwater reservoir, pictured here. (FILE PHOTO)

If you live in Iqaluit and you’re thinking about taking a warm bath to end a long day—think again.

The city of Iqaluit is “kindly” asking residents, businesses and visitors to opt for a shower over a bath as a way to help the municipality conserve water.

The move is one of several the city decided to take at its last council meeting to help address a potential freshwater shortage in the community of 8,000.

Lower than normal precipitation levels coupled with increased water demand have depleted water levels at the Lake Geraldine watershed and reservoir. A series of studies over the years have warned of the potential for water shortages.

Typically, the reservoir—which relies on the summer months to replenish—fills by October, although that didn’t happen last year.

The city has now decided to put in a place a handful of measures to address the lower water levels, including the replenishment of the reservoir before next winter, to ensure the community has sufficient water through 2019.

Among those measures, councillors voted to launch a public awareness and water conservation campaign, which came in the form of an Aug. 3 public service announcement.

In it, the city suggests opting for a five-minute shower instead of bath, which can use five times more water.

“A full bath tub requires 265 litres of water,” the release said.

“Modern showerheads use nine litres of water per minute; a five-minute shower only uses 45 litres.”

The city also suggests turning water off while residents brush their teeth and refraining from using city-supplied water to clean vehicles.

A research paper published last year looked at the viability of drawing freshwater from other sources to replenish Lake Geraldine, though it found that the most local sources—the Apex River or Sylvia Grinnell—could only supplement the reservoir for the short-term.

Instead, geographer Andrew Scott Medeiros has said the city should look to tap other deeper lakes just outside the city to re-fill Lake Geraldine at the end of winter, when the reservoir is at its lowest.

The city is also looking at revising its current water and sewage bylaw, to accommodate new businesses that require larger amounts of water outside the city’s utilidor system.

The city will host a public consultation on its proposed bylaw 200 this Thursday, Aug. 9, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in council chambers. The proposed bylaw can be found here.

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(11) Comments:

#1. Posted by thirsty on August 08, 2018

How are they going to deal with the ridiculous amount of water (40%)that is wasted each day due to broken pipes and needed repairs?

#2. Posted by Say what! on August 08, 2018

I bet I waste at least 3 bathtubs full of water every morning waiting for warm water to make its way to the top floor of the 8 story, but I will be sure to turn off the water when I brush my teeth!

#3. Posted by hhhhmmm... on August 08, 2018

how much water does that pool use?

#4. Posted by Fix the pipes. on August 09, 2018

Fix the pipes.

To address Iqaluit’s homeless crisis the community needs 600 new houses as quickly as they can be built.

It also needs an expanded home for elders and a very large treatment center. 

No amount of turning off the tap while brushing teeth will provide the needed water. 

Fixing the pipes is the ONLY real answer.

It’s not glamorous.  It is expensive.  But it must be done now.

#5. Posted by Could have been resolved before on August 09, 2018

This could have been resolved when it was first brought to issue a few years ago, but no it was just swept under the rug. Nobody wants to deal with an issue until it is or almost is a crisis! My good friend Juanasi Akumalik had to bring it to attention before anything is even done, it’s pretty sad for a community like ours that it has come to this!

#6. Posted by PLanning on August 09, 2018

This was brought to the attention of the city how many years ago? there should have been a plan to replace X area pipes every year until the whole system was upgraded.
City always looks dumb. No planning or action until there is a crisis.

#7. Posted by sled dog on August 09, 2018

broken water mains are not a sexy as a new pool i guess. This is a case of poor asset management whereby old infrastructure comes to an end of life and no plan to maintain, repair or replace.

But hey, you got a shiny new pool.

#8. Posted by Less talk & more action on August 09, 2018

Conservation is always a good idea and is the responsibility of everyone involved, including the city!!! Iqaluit’s water supply has been an issue since the early 1990’s, but as always there’s plenty of talk but little action! It’s time to start putting money where your mouth is!!

#9. Posted by The Old Trapper on August 09, 2018

Next up on the suggestion list;

“Save water - shower with a friend”

#10. Posted by Uncle Bob on August 10, 2018

This discussion has been going on in this newspaper’s column
for a couple of years now, the only people who haven’t read the suggestions put up by the readers (and there has been some good ones) is the council.
I would not have believed that towns with water shortage problems would be still installing bathtubs into housing in preference to showers.
Juanasi’s belated effort to bring the problem to light is about a year and a half after this problem has been well and truly discussed here in these columns.

#11. Posted by boris pasternak on August 13, 2018

this is good advice; partners, take showers together, save water and improve your relationship, get intimate again.

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