The record-breaking heatwave and increased demand on local water resources has led the Regional District of Nanaimo to impose Stage 3 watering restrictions, effective immediately.
Eight of the nine RDN water service areas are under restrictions until further notice. That means residents are requested to reduce non-essential outdoor water use, including curtailing lawn watering and refraining from washing cars or outdoor surfaces.
If water demand does not decrease under voluntary measures, it will prompt a move to a Stage 4 comprehensive, outdoor watering ban to ensure essential water needs for household use, cooling measures for health and safety, fire protection and environmental flows can be met.
“Reducing discretionary outdoor water use is necessary to keep up with essential water demands during these extreme conditions. We appreciate the continued efforts of residents in taking these water conservation measures,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “We also want to ensure that residents know they can continue to use water to cool off, stay hydrated and stay safe.”
Permitted watering times are between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for no more than two hours total allocated per day. The same watering schedule as Stage 2 will be maintained, even days for even numbered houses and on odd days for odd numbered houses.
Some helpful ways to cut back on water use include:
• Reduce the 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 washing.
• Retrofit leaking or inefficient irrigation systems.
• Add mulch/topsoil to aid in landscape water retention so you can decrease sprinkler run times.
For many water systems in the region, Stage 2 Watering Restrictions have been in effect since May 1, including for customers of eight of the nine RDN Water Service Areas.
Ongoing Stage 4 restrictions remain in place for the RDN’s Decourcey water service area.
— NEWS Staff