Do you make an effort to conserve water? Do you think you could do more? Why is water conservation important to you?
These are examples of the types of questions the City of Selkirk is asking on its Water Conservation Survey, available now at myselkirk.ca/watersurvey or at the front desk of the Civic Office at 200 Eaton Avenue.
“We’re encouraging every resident of Selkirk to go on the website and complete the survey,” said Dan McDermid, the city’s Director of Operations.
“It’ll help us develop a water conservation strategy in the near future that will meet the community’s needs.”
Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson said water is essential for life, and protecting it and preserving it is everyone’s responsibility.
“We need to be good stewards of our most precious resource and we want our citizens’ input, their ideas, and we want their support,” Johannson said.
“We know that clean, fresh water is the number one priority of every citizen in all communities. Let’s protect number one and let’s make sure that it’s going to be there for the ones that come behind us.”
Environmental Stewardship is a main priority in the city’s Strategic Plan and improving city practices and services and conserving water are key points in achieving that priority.
The survey, because it engages the community in shaping our future, is also aligned to the Strategic Plan’s first priority – creating a vibrant, safe and healthy community.
Vanessa Figus, the city’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator, said the survey also hits on another key strategic priority in that it helps citizens make good choices when it comes to the environment.
Wastewater Treatment Plant
The city announced last week a $36 million wastewater treatment plant will be built, to replace its non-compliant, 40-year-old plant. The provincial and federal governments will cover two-thirds of the cost, but the remaining $12 million will be the city’s responsibility, meaning utilities bills could rise.
McDermid said the environment benefits when people conserve water, but residents can benefit as well with lower water fees.
“We anticipate our rates are going to go up, now’s the time to start thinking about conserving water so that your utility bill will be lessened by our potential rate increases,” McDermid said.
The city has been doing its best to conserve water in recent years by installing low-flow toilets in all its buildings and using the Red River for watering plants. City planters are zero-scaping, which also uses less water. McDermid said the city is setting a trend it hopes residents will follow.
New Supplemental Water Source
The city has also recently established a supplemental water source from two wells in St. Andrews and is currently installing 11 kms of pipeline to bring the water to the Selkirk treatment plant. The new source, paired with new water conservation practices, will ensure a safe and reliable supply of water for Selkirk citizens now and into the future.
The survey will show where the public’s mindset is at in regards to conservation and that will be helpful when the city unveils its water conservation strategy in the near future.
The survey is for Selkirk residents only, and anyone who completes the survey will be entered to win a prize.