Reducing outdoor water use is being encouraged as the region moves to Stage 3 watering restrictions. — File photo

Parksville Qualicum Beach region moves to elevated Stage 3 watering restrictions

City, regional district ask residents to conserve water

The City of Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo are asking residents to do their best to conserve water as they impose Stage 3 watering restrictions, effective June 14.

There is serious concerns that the ongoing dry weather conditions will put significant stress on the region’s water sources. Earlier this month, the Province of BC elevated the Vancouver Island Drought Ranking to ‘Level 3 – Very Dry,’ in response to lower than normal groundwater levels and low flows in most rivers and streams due to dry weather conditions since March of this year.

Snowpack accumulation was less than normal this winter and melted several weeks early due to warm spring weather. Long-range forecasts project a warmer and drier than average summer ahead. The province is asking for increased water conservation, particularly discretionary outdoor water use.

The RDN operates nine water services that include the City of Parksville, Nanoose Bay Peninsula, Englishman River Community (River’s Edge), French Creek/ Sandpiper, San Pareil, Whisky Creek, Westurne Heights, Melrose Terrace, Decourcey (Pylades), and Surfside), EPCOR French Creek, and North Cedar Improvement District.

Under Stage 3 watering restrictions, the same even and odd day watering framework as Stage 2 is maintained, but residents are requested to further reduce water use in order to defer a Stage 4 comprehensive watering ban.

While Stage 3 calls for additional conservation on top of Stage 2, it offers flexibility for residents to decide where and how they cut back on water use. If reduction in water consumption is not achieved, Stage 4 will have to be implemented. It is, a comprehensive watering ban which prohibits all outdoor watering, filling of pools, washing of vehicles, etc.

Reducing outdoor water use is necessary to ensure that the city and regional district meet water demands for essential household consumption, fire protection and environmental flows can be met as we are faced with local drought conditions.

Here are some helpful ways to cut back on water use while in Stage 3:

· Reduce lawn irrigation on your property by decreasing sprinkler run times, cutting back on the number of watering days and refraining from sprinkling certain lawn areas. Lawns naturally go dormant in the summer months and return with fall rains.

· Avoid washing vehicles or boats unnecessarily, unless for safety reasons.

· Sweep outdoor surfaces with a broom rather than using a hose or power washer.

· Retrofit old, inefficient irrigation systems.

· Add mulch/topsoil to aid in landscape water retention to support decreased sprinkling.

Detailed information about the city’s water restrictions on the website at parksville.ca [Quicklinks/Water Restrictions]. The city is a partner in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Team WaterSmart programs. For helpful tips on saving water and information on local watering restrictions, visit www.teamwatersmart.ca.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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