Resources: How to Conserve Water


Low Water Response Program — How the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Manages Water use During a Drought 

Tips on How To Manage your Water Well in Times of Water Shortage 

Dry Conditions and Low Water 

Tips — How to Conserve Water

  • Filling wells with surface water, or potable water is not recommended. Installing a holding tank that links to a household system, and filling that with potable water is a better option.
  • Removing water from streams and lakes for watering lawns or gardens may cause problems for other users.

In the yard

  • Brown grass is only dormant, not dead. Grass only needs 25 mm of water each week to do well, any more can weaken the roots.
  • 20 L (5 gal) of water once a week will help trees survive dry conditions.
  • Don't water lawns and gardens when a municipal water shortage warning is in effect.
  • If you must water, only water gardens and lawns once a week, no more than one inch in total, including rain.
  • Avoid watering on windy days and water your lawn and plants in the morning — evaporation occurs at a slower rate than if you watered in the hot sun.
  • Cut grass less frequently and cut grass higher as it reduces evaporation and increases moisture.
  • Collect and use rainwater for your lawn and gardens — it's free and better for your plants than municipally supplied water or well water. Consider buying a rain barrel.
  • Plant drought resistant plants — convert your lawns to low-care perennials.

Your car

  • Don't wash your car when a municipal water shortage warning is in effect.
  • Use commercial car washes that recycle their water.
  • If you do wash your car, do it on the lawn. Use a bucket of soapy water and the bare minimum to rinse it off.

In the kitchen

  • Rinse fruits and vegetables by putting a little water in the sink or a bowl instead of running water.
  • When hand washing dishes, plug the drain and do them all at once.
  • Run the dishwasher with full loads only.
  • Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or the microwave, not under running water.
  • For cold water to drink, keep a jug in the fridge instead of running the tap.

In the bathroom

  • Install a low-flush toilet or install a toilet dam in your toilet tank to reduce water use.
  • Keep showers to five minutes or less.
  • Consider buying a water efficient showerhead.
  • If you must take a bath, fill the tub with only the amount of water really needed to clean yourself (1/4 full).
  • When cleaning your teeth, don’t keep the tap running, use a glass to rinse. Rinsing a toothbrush under a tap wastes about 4,000 litres of water a year.
  • Replace all leaky tap washers, they can waste more than 400 litres of water a day. Repair all leaks in pipes and toilets as well.


  • Wash clothes only when you have a full load.

Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario