A big Thank You to everyone who participated in the 20% Challenge and helped reduce our water consumption this summer!  For the 15 weeks between July 16 and September 30, 2019, Tofino conserved over 30,000m3 of drinking water; that's 12 olympic sized swimming pools worth!

For more information on water efficiency and conservation tips, please read below.

Like much of the West Coast, Tofino is seeing more intense winter rainstorms and drier summers; water shortages during the summer and fall threaten much of what we care about on the Coast: salmon and other wildlife, water quality and availability, and our local economy.

The 20% Challenge encourages efficiency in water usage, and recognizes that the responsibility for conservation is shared by businesses, residents, visitors and the District.

2015 Water Consumption by Sector

2015 Water Consumption By Sector

By taking the Challenge, businesses, residents, and visitors are encouraged to share their tips on social media using the hashtag #TofinoH2O and follow along on this page to track the community’s progress.

What is the District Doing?

The District of Tofino is auditing the water consumption of large, commercial users and working with accommodation providers to engage their guests in the conservation of one of Tofino’s greatest, but surprisingly limited, natural assets.

We are also metering water consumption, fixing leaks, implementing watering restrictions, and undertaking public education. Further water restrictions may come into effect this summer to maintain fire flows and system demands as necessary.

By encouraging awareness and efficiency in water usage, the 20% Challenge recognizes that the responsibility for conservation is shared by all users, including businesses, residents, visitors and the District.

See the Water Conservation Strategy

20% Challenge Bi-Weekly Consumption Data

  2018 Consumption [m3] 2019 Target Consumption [m3]


Actual %

June 1 - June 15            25,497            20,397   25,091 2%
20% Challenge initiated on June 16, 2019
June 16 - June 30            26,623            21,299 22,602 15%
July 1  - July 15            29,217            23,374 25,001 14%
July 16 - July 31            35,319            28,256 29,646 16%
Aug 1 - Aug 15            33,225            26,580 31,324 6%
Aug 16 - Aug 31            35,443          28,354 29,923 16%
Sept 1  - Sept 15            28,305            22,644 23,234 18%
Sept 16 - Sept 30            24,966            19,973 20,513 18%

Why Reduce Water?

Because Vancouver Island droughts are becoming the norm. Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of drought conditions all over the West Coast. While Tofino is privileged to get its water from streams and reservoirs on Meares Island, we need to work together to reduce the pressure on our environment and infrastructure.

Because our population almost doubles in the summer months! There is a substantial increase in water consumption during the summer months due to seasonal residents and visitors, placing pressure on our water supply and infrastructure in the months where Tofino receives the least amount of rainfall.

Because we can! One of our biggest strengths in building community resiliency to drought conditions is Tofino’s ability to work together. Over the last six years, Tofino has seen reductions in annual per capita water demand. This can be attributed to more efficient appliances and fixtures, as well as the effectiveness of water conservation programs. Let’s build on our successes to make water conservation a part of our daily lives.

To do your part for the community. Using water as efficiently as possible is the responsibility of each and every individual and business in Tofino. If everyone does their part, the benefits can be enjoyed by the whole community, and we can maximize the longevity of our current water supply into the future.

Conservation Tips

  • Obey water restrictions. In 2015, the District realized savings of approximately 10,000 cubic metres relative to 2014 due a community effort during extreme drought conditions.
  • Plant only drought tolerant species. Our climate is changing – so must our gardens.
  • Fix those drips! Leaking toilets and hose connections waste water every second. In some cases, fixing one leak can reduce a home’s water use by up to 20% in one simple step.
  • Take shorter showers instead of a bath, and turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. On average Canadians use about 65% of their water in the bathroom.  
  • To find out how much water your shower uses: Collect the water coming out of your shower in a container for 10 seconds. Measure the volume of water and multiply by six. This is how much water your showerhead is using every minute (Litres Per Minute = lpm). If this value is higher than 9.5 litres, consider replacing your fixture with something more efficient.
  • Water used to shower depending on your fixture:


5.7 lpm

7.57 lpm

9.5 lpm

20 lpm
5  min shower 28.5 litres 37.85 litres 47.5 litres 100 litres
7 min shower  39.9 litres 52.99 litres 66.5 litres 140 litres
10 min shower 57 litres 75.7 litres 95 litres 200 litres
15 min shower 85.5 litres 113.55 litres 142.5 litres 300 litres
  • Think about a rainwater capture system. Rain barrels are good, but may be too small to make much of a difference in summers without intermittent rains, as is happening more. Invest in a larger rain water harvesting system if you can, of 1000L or more, to really catch enough rain to make a difference.

Tag your conservation stories with #TofinoH2O!

How Much Water Do You Use?

There are a number of tools available online for calculating water consumption patterns that enable residents to understand how to make changes based on their individual circumstances.  The HomeWaterWorks tool offered by the Alliance for Water Efficiency has a Water Calculator at http://www.home-water-works.org/ that compares your water use to similar houses in the region, and helps identify specific areas for improving overall household water efficiency.