FarmLife Five: High-Water Marks

Prices at home are on the rise, use is on the decline, but leaky pipes reveal cracks in the system.

On the Rise: From 2010 to 2012, one in four water bills in the U.S. had doubled, with the largest percentage increase hitting Atlanta (233%). Since 2014, the highest percentage increases were in Austin (31%), Chicago (15%) and San Francisco (15%).

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On the Decline: Residential water use in Canada dropped 16% from 2006 to 2009. From 2005 to 2010, residential water use in the U.S. dropped 13%.

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Meters Mean Business: In 2011, 58% of Canadian households were equipped with water meters compared to 52% in 1991. Over the same period, average daily water use dropped by 27% from 342 litres per person in 1991 to 251 litres per person in 2011.

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Water Waste: In the U.S., landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day. Of that total, as much as 50% is wasted from inefficient methods and systems.

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Water Waste, Part II: In Canada, as much as 30% of the total water entering supply-line systems is lost to leaking pipes. South of the border, in the U.S., the average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year.

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