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It's no secret that we can and should be doing more to protect our water source. With only 3% of the water on earth available for us as freshwater and much of that trapped in glaciers, we must start looking at what we can do to make a difference. If everyone just did a little bit, the combined effect could be substantial. World Water Day is on March 22 and it's the perfect time to highlight how to change your water habits. Here are 5 actions you can do today that will have an impact.

1. Drink tap water

The Pacific Institute of California has estimated that it takes 3 litres of water to produce 1 litre of bottled water, taking into account the water used to create the bottle. So go ahead and buy that Swill bottle you've been admiring, after all the amount of water you consume is negligible in comparison to the amount used to provide that bottled water.

Want to know more about drinking water? Read this CBC article: Bottle vs. tap: 7 things to know about drinking water.

2. Don't pour kitchen grease down the drain

The grease from those pans in your kitchen doesn't stay liquid for long and sooner or later the buildup that results in your pipes can cause blockages that cost you more than you might expect. Further down the sewer line, at the wastewater treatment facility, the solid buildups from kitchen grease cause blockages and backups that are messy and time consuming and costly to repair. Every community has preferred methods of disposing of kitchen greases. Do your part and keep them out of the drains.

3. Capture rain water for your outdoor plants 

Every summer, Mother Nature provides us with a great opportunity to impact the environment - and it comes in the form of rain.  Capturing rain water to use in our gardens helps conserve water and it costs less than using treated drinking water. So what can you do? Purchase a rain barrel at your home and/or garden store and spend some time enjoying the beauty in your yard as you water the plants and flowers.

4. Don't flush medications down the toilet

Too many people assume that the safest way to dispose of unused or unwanted medications is by flushing them down the toilet. Don't do it. Wastewater Treatment Plants are designed to remove nutrients, ammonia and pathogens from the wastewater to protect aquatic life and the watershed. Pharmaceuticals are not a primary target of wastewater treatment processes, some of them will be removed but not all and there is growing concern about the impact medications have on fish. So what can you do? It's easy, put your unused medications in a bag and return them to the pharmacy the next time you visit. Learn more about what not to flush.

5. Participate in a local watershed clean up

Municipalities and non-profit organizations have identified parks and pathways along local rivers as an area of concern when it comes to litter and the impact it has on the ecosystem. There are many organized programs that citizens can participate in to clean up these beautiful public spaces. Take some time to find out when your local event is and how you can participate. They will certainly welcome your involvement. P.S. Bring some friends and family!