Coastal River

Coastal River, West Coast Vancouver Island. Photo: Jeremy Koreski

Watershed (or drainage basin): an area or region defined by the height of land and drained by a river, river system, or other body of water.

Stewardship: responsible use and protection of the environment through conservation and sustainable practices.

Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound represent two grand watersheds of enormous ecological and cultural significance. As one of the most ecologically rich landscapes on the planet (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve), our region supports thousands of marine and terrestrial species as well as several thriving coastal communities. The goal of Raincoast Watershed Stewardship Project is to work to ensure that activities within the local land-base have a minimal impact on the overall watershed. By working with residents, businesses, local government and First Nations, our project will provide people with the necessary information to responsibly use our water and responsibly dispose of our wastewater. 

Rain isn’t just abundant here, it’s a way of life, and a good supply of clean water is an essential asset that is worth protecting and conserving. Minimizing excessive use and reducing water pollution starts with making an effort to be aware of what we do and how we’re interacting with our watershed on a daily basis. It’s as simple as being careful of what goes down the kitchen sink or leaving the hose coiled up and sweeping the driveway instead. Or we can take further steps like installing water catchment or greywater recovery systems.  It can be a little difficult to know where to start sometimes, so the purpose of this site is to provide interactive and easily-accessible solutions to many of these challenges. Going one step further, we hope to connect you with the green products and technologies you’re after and the local people who can install them.

Clayoquot Sound

The temperate rainforest and marine ecosystems of the Clayoquot Sound comprise some one of the most magnificent and unique environments on the planet. Only 0.1% of the earth’s landscape is temperate rainforest, and 25% of this is found here in British Columbia. Temperate rainforests are generally found in mountainous coastal environments like our own where temperatures are moderate and rainfall is very high (around 2000-3000 millimetres per year).

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Municipal Water

It’s important to know where your water comes from, and Tofino residents are fortunate to draw water from one of the most pristine watersheds in the world. Aside from the Tla-o-quiaht village of Opitsaht, Tofino’s municipal water infrastructure is the only significant development on Meares Island. This means that the millions of litres of water supplying Tofino is some of the purest water in the world.

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Water Catchment

Harvesting rainwater with a rain catchment system or rain barrel is an excellent option if you want to conserve water here in the Clayoquot Sound. Catchment systems typically work by collecting rainwater runoff from roofs by channeling it through gutters down into cisterns or barrels, which can be located either above or below ground. Below is a diagram outlining a common system in use.

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Greywater Reuse

Greywater is water generated when we use treated drinking water for domestic activities like bathing, laundry, and dishwashing. It includes all water used at home that is not sewage (known as blackwater) and that has the potential to be reused for watering inedible plants or for flushing toilets. The most common inputs of greywater are bathroom sinks, showers, and baths because the wastewater is much cleaner than other sources like the kitchen where water can be greasy or contain food particles.

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Water @ Home

The appliances and fixtures we use every day have a big impact on how efficient our homes are. On this page, you'll find information about common household appliances like washing machines and dishwashers, and fixtures like toilets, faucets, and shower heads. Also included are the differences between the demands for older systems and newer more water and energy efficient models. Tofino's progressive stepped-charge rates for water and electricity mean that efficiency and conservative use can lead to substantial savings on utility bills.

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