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Calgarians finding creative ways to save water as restrictions continue

It will be another three to five weeks before the water supply in Calgary is back to normal, forcing residents to continue finding ways to save water.

“The city has been really clear about full loads in your washing machines, full loads in your dishwashers, short showers,” says Taryn Meyers with the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CASWT).

“One thing I’ve learned is how much water you actually need to get the job done.”

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Often, Meyers, says, less water is needed than expected, pointing to only the need for a trickle from the taps while washing your hands.

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“When we waste that water, it’s going down the drain and to another treatment plant,” explains Meyers.

“We have to treat it all over again and that’s a lot of taxpayer money and energy use.”

Many Calgarians have been taking advantage of the recent rainfall and filling buckets and rain barrels. The most common use is to water plants and gardens but some of the rainwater can also be used indoors.

“You could use it to wash your hair or feet,” says Lex van der Raadt, executive director of Green Calgary. “Just be careful when you’re doing stuff like that because the water that’s coming off your roof will have a lot of stuff in it.”

Click to play video: 'Calgarians told to not collect water from rivers amid conservation efforts'

Calgarians told to not collect water from rivers amid conservation efforts

Other tips to maximize the water collected include putting it in sealed containers, not using it for any kind of consumption and only watering plants rather than the entire garden.

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For other indoor uses, Green Calgary suggests saving water from the shower as it heats up. That water can be put to use to wash dishes or hands, along with a variety of other indoors uses when treated water is needed.

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