A Winnipeg man has traded hot showers for sponge baths in an effort to bring awareness to our water consumption.

This is the sixth year Kevin Freedman has set himself the challenge of using less than 25 litres of water a day during the month of March.

It's something he says he started six years ago, just to see if he could do it: "It was a challenge to spice things up a bit." 

Each day during the challenge, Freedman fills an orange water jug with 25 litres of fresh water; that's the only time he will touch the tap.

He then uses that water for everything: his daily sponge baths, cooking, dishes, laundry … even flushing the toilet. 

"I do live by the maxim 'When it's yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush it down,'" said Freedman, who calls this the "cottage rule."

He said when he does flush his toilet, he tries to use water he's previously used for bathing, dishes or laundry.

According to Environment Canada, per capita, each Canadian uses about 340 litres of water each day. Sixty five per cent of that is used for showers, baths and flushing the toilet.

"Toilets now are much more efficient than they used to be," said Freedman. "But older toilets can use over 20 litres every time you flush."

Freedman said the hardest part of the challenge has been getting used to not touching the tap after he fills his jug.

"People would be amazed by how many times they turn on a faucet … it's probably dozens of times a day for the average person" he said.

"We're very lucky … a lot of people around the world only have one faucet or a well outside their house." 

Freedman's challenge comes at a time when hundreds, if not thousands, of Winnipeggers are without water due to frozen pipes and broken water mains.

He said he empathizes with anyone living without access to water, and he hopes Winnipeg comes out of this crisis with a deeper appreciation of our access to fresh, clean water.