EnvironmentTotal Average Daily Flow of Water for Residential Use
Significance• In some countries, fresh water is a scarce resource; however, in Canada, there is an abundance of fresh water.• The fact that Canada has vast quantities of this precious resource does not, however, justify wastefulness.• Comparing average daily flow of water per capita will show which communities are saving fresh water and which are not.
Core Indicator• Total average daily flow of water is measured by the relationship between the total water residential use and the population served water.• Residential use specifies water that was used by individuals, not for commercial or other use.• Of all the water used in Canada 53.5% is used residentially (as opposed to commercial use).
National Trend Since 2001• Since 2001, residential water use per capita has been decreasing in Canada (see following chart).• The largest decrease was between 2006 and 2009 (a decrease of 16.2%).• Environment Canada suggests that this decline may be due to a number of factors including: climatic variables, socioeconomic variables, higher rates of metering and increasing water and sewer prices.
Total Average Daily Flow of Water for Residential Use in Litres per Capita, Canada, 2001-2009 350 340 330 320 310 300 290 280 270 260 2001 2004 2006 2009Source: Environment Canada, Municipal Water and Wastewater Surveyhttp://www.ec.gc.ca/Water-apps/MWWS/en/publications.cfm
Canada’s Major CMAs• In 2009, water use per capita in St. John’s (710.0L) was the highest among Canada’s major CMAs and over twice the national average (274.0L) (see following chart).• Second highest was Montréal (434.9L).• London had the lowest residential water use per capital at 160.1 litres per person per day, followed by Edmonton at 180.8 litres.
Total Average Daily Flow of Water for Residential Use in Litres per Capita for Major CMAs, 2009 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0Source: Environment Canada, Municipal Water and Wastewater Survey http://www.ec.gc.ca/Water-apps/MWWS/en/publications.cfm
CMA Trends (1999 to 2009)• The absolute change in water consumption within the last decade for major CMAs has varied a lot between regions, however, 9 of the 15 communities followed the national trend of decreasing water use (see following chart).• St. John’s had the highest water use growth of 71.5 litres, followed by Montréal (up 48.6L).• Québec (down 306.7L) and Hamilton (down 196.5L) had the greatest decreases in water consumption.
Absolute Change in Water Consumption inLitres per Capita for Major CMAs, 1999-2009 100.0 50.0 0.0 -50.0 -100.0 -150.0 -200.0 -250.0 -300.0 -350.0 Note: Change for Canada calculated between 2001 and 2009. Source: Environment Canada, Municipal Water and Wastewater Survey.
The Impact of Billing• Environment Canada suggests that the method for billing water has a large effect on the amount of water consumed per capita.• Residents in Nova Scotia, for example, consumed more than double the amount of water when they were billed a flat rate.• Canadians who are charged a meter rate based on volume seem to use much less water.