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Residents of Gatineau still consume too much water

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Average water use is still higher than the target set by the province. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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Gatineau residents still consume too much water. This is what the City of Gatineau’s water and residual materials department concludes.

The department presented its drinking water report to elected officials on Tuesday, during a session of the plenary committee.

The average resident consumes 237 liters of water per day, while the Quebec objective is 220 liters per day. Consumption even increased slightly when compared to 2021 (223 liters per person per day).

The target of 220 liters per person per day results of the Quebec Drinking Water Saving Strategy, which aims to reduce consumption by 20% from 2015 to 2025.

The director of the City's Water and Residual Materials Department, Chantal Marcotte, explains that the installation of hundreds of water meters in 2022 and 2023 allows us to have a more precise portrait of consumption. According to her, it is for this reason in particular that residential consumption still remains high.

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But we still have a good step to be able to comply, she nevertheless qualifies.

But for the deputy director of management of assets and projects, André Turgeon, it may be extremely hard to further lower residential consumption.

However, he is pleased that residential consumption in Gatineau is now much closer to the Canadian and Ontario average for 2015 (respectively 235 and 201 liters per person per day).

And I would like to point out that in several Canadian cities, drinking water is taxed, which is not the case in Quebec. And that’s a significant difference if we manage to obtain the same water consumption from those who tax it, adds Mr. Turgeon.

The City of Gatineau plans to continue its awareness campaigns to encourage residents to reduce their consumption. In particular, she wants to target what needs to be done to change the behavior of those who have not yet changed their behavior, specifies Ms. Marcotte.

The The city is considering, among other things, the possibility of restricting night watering.

It’s quite impressive, she said. There are certain areas of the city where watering between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., the peak [consumption] is greater than at supper time.

The municipal administration also intends to pass the water policies in force in other municipalities, in order to possibly tighten its own.

The General Auditor of the City of Gatineau, for her part, recommended Tuesday to update the Aqueduct Master Plan which is 13 years old. She explains this need by the great demographic growth that the City has experienced in recent years.

The VG emphasizes, however, that the measures taken to reduce consumption per person helped offset this faster-than-expected growth.

With information from Anne-Charlotte Carignan and Patrick Foucault

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