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Inaugural WaterSmart Ambassador offers Castlegarians one-on-one water wisdom

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 24th, 2012

This is one door-to-door campaign you don’t want to miss out on – when Suzanne Fordyce is done offering you a free personal consultation, you’ll know how to conserve water (read: save money) without sacrificing garden quality … and you’ll get free stuff, to boot!

The CIty of Castlegar hired Fordyce as part of its WaterSmart commitment of reducing city water consumption levels by 20 per cent by 2015 (compared to 2009 levels).

City director of public works Chris Barlow says Castlegar has already dropped consumption levels by six per cent, but there’s still work to do – and he underlined that this will not only promote better stewardship within city boundaries, but will also make the city eligible for grants and funding that it could not otherwise access.

“I very strongly believe in public outreach to promote water conservation,” said the 32-year-old Fordyce. “(This position) is a good opportunity for me to apply some of the skills I garnered at Selkirk College and to engage with people around an issue I really believe in.”

She said the ambassadorial contract, which is a full-time post between now and Aug. 31, won’t be any sort of ivory-tower intellectual role.

“I’ll be touring neighbourhoods on my bike or on foot, going door-to-door to make consultation appointments, and to keep an eye out for properties that really need some input around conservation,” she said, adding this could mean serious cost savings for residents, given the ongoing installation of water meters in Castlegar. She also promised the consultations would not be a repeat of the nagging neighbour giving you heck for watering the sidewalk. “It’s a friendly, non-judgmental opportunity to get new information and tips.

“As part of the consultation, (participants) will also get a free hose timer or rain sensor, and a free book; a guide to household water efficiency,” she added.

Fordyce will focus primarily on outdoor water useage, assessing watering habits, soil quality, types of foilage and plantings, etc., then offering recommendations to reduce water use without diminishing lawn/garden quality.

“It’s really just about helping people,” she said.

For more information or to book a consultation, call Fordyce at 250-687-4602 or email waterambassador@castlegar.ca

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