March 22 2005, VANCOUVER - March 22, 2005 is World Water Day and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is urging Canadians to take the time to consider how important this vital resource is and to do whatever they can to conserve and preserve it every day.


"Canada is blessed with an incredible amount of clean, fresh water," states Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director," but the last several decades has proven that the supply of clean water that we enjoy is exhaustible and easily contaminated and, if we don't clean up our act, this vital resource will become increasingly scarce and polluted."

The theme of World Water Day 2005 is "Water for Life 2005 - 2015" and The Humane Society of Canada is encouraging everyone to get involved to protect and conserve this life-giving resource.

HSC Executive Director Michael O'Sullivan believes that one of the most important things humans need to do to stop wasting and polluting water supplies is to stop taking this precious resource for granted.

"Most people give little thought to the clean water that comes out of the taps, where it comes from, the ecosystems that it sustains and the cleaning process it underwent before it arrived in our homes," states O'Sullivan. "If they did they wouldn't leave the taps running while they brush their teeth and they'd think twice before watering their lawns and washing their cars."

At the 58th session of the United Nations General Assembly, it was agreed that the years 2005 to 2015 would be known as the International Decade for Action "Water for Life." The Humane Society of Canada is asking everyone to do their part in the "Water for Life" decade by conserving and protecting water sources whenever possible. The following are 25 simple ways to preserve this vital resource for the planet and the species that live here.

25 Simple Ways to Conserve & Protect Water Sources

  1. Use low-flow flush toilets.
  2. Don't flush the toilet unnecessarily. Don't dispose of tissues and similar waste in the toilet.
  3. Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load.
  4. Try not to water your lawns and gardens. If you must water them do so during a cool part of the day and don't water them when it is windy.
  5. Try using water collected in rain barrels from the gutter system on your house to water gardens.
  6. Make sure that that your toilet and faucets are working well. (By adding food colouring to your toilet tank you can see if it is leaking; a leaking toilet will have some of the food colouring in the bowl after approximately 30 minutes.) Fix leaky faucets and plumbing joints.
  7. Plant native plants and trees. Not only does this keep alien species from spreading to areas where they shouldn't be, but native plants don't usually require additional water.
  8. Wash vehicles and similar items in a conservative manner by using a bucket of water (as opposed to a running hose). Use a spray attachment on the hose for a quick rinse at the end.
  9. Try shortening the length of your showers and use a water-saving shower head.
  10. Place a bucket in the shower to catch water that can be used later to water plants.
  11. Use clean, safe, alternatives to water when cleaning whenever possible. For example, clean your garage, driveway, sidewalks, patios etc. with a broom.
  12. When waiting for hot water to come through the pipes after you've turned on the taps, catch the cooler water in a container and use this water to water plants.
  13. When brushing your teeth turn off the water.
  14. Keep drinking water in the refrigerator so that you don't have to run the water waiting for cool water to drink.
  15. Put mulch around outdoor plants and trees to reduce evaporation and the need to water.
  16. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to minimize evaporation.
  17. Set lawn mower blades slightly higher as longer grass results in less evaporation.
  18. Properly dispose of all hazardous material since even small amounts can contaminate large supplies of water.
  19. Reduce your meat consumption; the production of a kilogram of beef uses many thousands of litres of water.
  20. Don't use running water to defrost foods. Plan ahead and defrost foods overnight in the refrigerator.
  21. Insulate your water pipes. This will allow you to get hot water faster and you won't waste water waiting for it to heat up.
  22. Minimize your use of kitchen sink disposals, which require significant water, by composting appropriate kitchen wastes.
  23. When at the cottage or camping try to use environmentally friendly modes of transportation such as canoeing and kayaking.
  24. If motorboats are used, use four-stroke motors which are significantly cleaner and much more efficient compared to two-stroke motors.
  25. Don't dig ponds which can pollute groundwater.

And don't forget to let others know about how they can help to preserve water.

"Educating family members, relatives, friends and co-workers about water conservation is vital if we are to protect our most important resource," says O'Sullivan.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

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