Skip to content

City's Operatioj Save H20 being hailed as a success

A dwindling supply and increased cost of clean, potable water has been at the forefront of concerns for some time in civic circles.

In 2008, the City of Surrey launched Operation Save H2O to educate this city’s highest users of water on how they can cut their consumption.

In 2010, the city conducted an analysis, determining the effectiveness of the program.

Of the homes that were contacted by the Operation Save H2O team, water consumption was decreased by nine per cent in one year, a total reduction of 124,000 cubic meters of water during the program.

That’s equivalent to the volume of water in 50 Olympic swimming pools.

When it was launched two years ago, the city employed four high school students and four university students to act as team leaders.

Each team takes a different quadrant of the city, primarily targeting the city’s highest consumers of water.

Residents see savings through reduced utility costs, while the city sees savings through a reduction in the cost of pumping water, and more importantly in a deferral of upgrades to the city’s water main network.

The students embark on the three-month program in hopes they can spark some changes in the behaviour of residents.

The students point out several notions, such as the fact that indigenous plants can survive on the rainwater they get naturally, and the fact that most North American lawns are overwatered.

Water saving tips


• Don’t water the lawn during the hottest time of the day.

• Use a broom to clean sidewalks rather than a hose.

• Fix toilet leaks, which can waste up to 200 gallons a day.

• Even a pinhole leak such as in a washing machine can waste 170 gallons a day.

• Make sure taps work properly. A faucet losing a drop a second amounts to 2,700 gallons a year.

• A running faucet uses about a gallon a minute.

• Water lawns only once a week, and only give it an inch (2.5 c.m.)

• For more information, visit

Fore more water saving tips, visit