Diapers help with all kind of moisture problems

Community members and area politicians pledge to reduce water consumption

The contents of a clean diaper can keep your potted plants hydrated on hot days.

That interesting tip was one of many given during a Make Water Work pledge session outside Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Thursday.

The event was held to promote the annual Make Water Work pledge to reduce water consumption throughout the Okanagan where residents can win up to $8,000 in water wise prizes.

West Bench resident Mirriam Pender grew up in Australia where there was extreme drought conditions.

She was shocked by how much water people consume in Canada compared to her homeland.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said emphatically before providing a few tips on water repurposing and maximizing water used.

She emptied the contents of a clean child’s diaper into a container and added two cups of water.

She advised by adding the mixture with potting soil evaporation didn’t happen quite as fast.

She often uses the concoction in flowering pots.

“Now you only have to water once in awhile opposed to every day. And for those snowbirds that have house plants you can leave and the plants will still have water,” she said.

Pender’s other tips included putting a bucket under the shower tap to collect the water as it warms up. That water can then be put in a watering can and used to water plants. She also suggested keeping the water used to wash vegetables and fruits and dumping that on plants outside.

Rev. Colin Cross from the Penticton Presbyterian church also provided some tips.

His church recently re-planted its green space. Those that worked on the project chose to get rid of the hedges, birch tree, all the grass and plant the area with water-friendly plants.

“We replaced the grass with rock and it’s aesthetically pleasing as it was before,” he said.

He suggested anyone planting perennials or trees to make sure to give them lots of water in the beginning.

“That might seem backwards but by giving them lots of water they grow deep roots and become water wise,” he said.

Dr. Anna Warwick Sears from the Okanagan Basin Water Board noted that although recent attention has been on flooding water conservation has been top of my mind.

During the flood she received many calls from organizations overseeing water treatment. With the high water more sediment than normal was finding its way into the treatment facilities and water couldn’t be treated fast enough.

“Whether it’s a wet year or a dry year everyone in the Okanagan needs to be aware of the water consumption and trying to reduce it,” she said.

As part of the Make Water Work pledges regional politicians threw out challenges to their colleagues. Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff challenged everyone to take a three-minute shower to reduce consumptions while RDOS chair Karla Kozakevich challenged everyone to turn off their showers while lathering up.

Kozakevich also challenged Area F director Micheal Brydon to get the highest number of people signed up per capita.

Those interested in signing up for the pledge should go to www.makewaterwork.ca.

Those pledging need to do one of the following: only water the lawn between dusk and dawn; water plants, not pavement; leave grass two to three inches tall; leave grass clippings as mulch; aerate lawn and top dress with compost; change out some of lawn with drought-tolerant turn or native and low-water variety plants.