That's Life - January 31, 2024

I have always been concerned about water shortages. In the past few years, I have been saying to my husband, too many years in a row, “The sloughs don’t have any water in them. That’s not a good sign.” When driving to Calgary, for various reasons, we have noticed real differences in snowfall areas. Three Hills seems to get a decent snowfall inside and around the town. But going south the snowpack is slight to none. Since you can see the mountains going west, you can usually see if there is snow on them or not. I hate to see them with very little snow.

For the past year and a half, we have driven to Drumheller three times a week or more for our son’s dialysis appointments. You can really notice where the water should be. The Red Deer River, going through Drumheller, was very low, especially noticeable in the fall.

Since the Red Deer River is the source of water for so many villages, towns and farming needs, one has to respect the usage of the water we still can use.

“My mother-in-law, Doreen Shearlaw, passed away over 13 years ago. Being a British war bride, she had a huge problem when it came to wasting water. She knew from her past experiences that water is a precious commodity.

One day, both Tim and I were at work. She called Tim at our office and was crying on the phone. Tim said, “What’s wrong Mom?”. She just said, “ I have a water problem.” Tim and I went right down to her house. She was standing with her hand wrapped around her kitchen faucet, as it had broken, and the water was spraying all over the place as well as going down the sink at a rapid rate. She was really, really upset that she was wasting water. Mom Shearlaw did lots to keep her water demand low.

Another example of helping with water conservation was seen by Tim and I, when we visited a neighbor up at Buffalo Lake, many years ago. When you visited their bathroom, the sign above the toilet said, “Please Flush only if you have a Solid Reason.” That pretty well summed it up.

Think about the forest fires last year in Alberta. The record high temperatures and human-caused fires, all had to be put out by water. This year, with such low snow packs, the fire situation could be that much worse. We really don’t need that!

Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility, especially during drought. By conserving water, you can help to protect us and our natural resources.

Indoor water conservation tips

Making simple changes can reduce your water usage around your home:

Keep showers short,

If washing dishes by hand, fill the sink rather than let the water run free.

Instead of running the tap, keep a jug of cool water in the fridge.

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving.

Regularly check your home for leaks. Undetected leaks in your home can waste many litres of water each year.

Run full loads of laundry and full loads in the dishwasher.

Outdoor water conservation


Water lawns sparingly. Lawns only need about 2.5 cm (or 1 inch) of water per week.

Water in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation.

Clean the driveway with a broom instead of a hose.

Check for leaks in outdoor pipes, faucets, and hoses.

Buy drought-tolerant plants.

Use rain barrels to collect rainwater for outdoor plant use.

Let’s all try to conserve our water, and treat it like gold because water is our lifeline. We cannot live without it.

That’s Life.