Faith Jiggins enjoys a cool-down in her grandmother’s sprinkler last week.

Water restrictions, campfire ban imposed in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Officials say the water supply system is stressed; Qualicum Beach doesn't change its watering guidelines

With no forecast of significant rainfall both Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo have upped their water restrictions another level.

“This is a precautionary step to ensure adequate water supplies are in place well into the fall months,” said RDN water services manager Mike Donnelly.

Level three restrictions ban the washing of driveways and sidewalks, the use of decorative fountains without re-circulated water and filling swimming pools, garden ponds, and fountains. Additionally, residents must use a hose equipped with a shutoff device for vehicle and boat washing.

The new conditions allow for sprinkler watering from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on an every other day basis. Odd numbered addresses may water on odd numbered days and even numbered addresses may water on even numbered days. Residents may water for up to one hour per period.

Donnelly said Vancouver Island is currently rated by the province at drought level three meaning it is “very dry.”

He said the stress on the existing water supply in combination with warm temperatures resulted in enforcing more stringent conditions on water.

“Groundwater is replenished typically with winter precipitation (snow and rain) which is stored in aquifers that provide a supply of water to residents,” explained Donnelly. “Both in 2013 and to date in 2014 we have experienced a reduction in winter rainfall, reduced snow-pack (60 per cent of normal this year) and a drier trend in general.”

Water restrictions will remain in place until further notice.  Despite increased regulations in Parksville and RDN areas, Qualicum Beach remains at water conservation level two, meaning nothing has changed for town residents.

“There are no signs from our water supply that anything like that (raising water restrictions) will be necessary,” said Bob Weir, Qualicum Beach director of engineering, utilities and airport.

Qualicum Beach residents are allowed to water every day, with prohibitions from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Our basic rule is don’t water when the sun is up,” said Weir. “It spreads the demand out on our water system which is one of the biggest advantages — if you put anything on a time slot it’s hard on the system.”

For more information on water restrictions in Parksville or the RDN visit: or  Along with water restrictions, the hot weather is affecting fire bans and officials are predicting campfires will be banned for the August long weekend.

While there is currently no campfire ban in place, Coastal Fire Centre (CFC) fire information officer Marg Drysdale said “there is a high probability that there will be a campfire ban in place by Friday (Aug 1).” (Editor’s note: the ban was issued Wednesday afternoon and is in ewffect starting Friday.)

Drysdale told The NEWS there have been 95 wildfires recorded in the coastal region which includes all of Vancouver Island since April 1. Drysdale said 72 of those fires have been human caused and 23 have been lightening caused.

“These are higher numbers than last year,” she said. “But the ten year average to date is 121 fires so we’re below that at 95.”  Drysdale said since the end of June, the number of wildfires increased dramatically. For more information or updates on wildfires in the region visit:

Just Posted

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Qualicum man sentenced for tying up, robbing another man

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in 2017

Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says city official

Parksville roundtable highlights need for affordable housing, recreation

Mayor Ed Mayne held facilitated event in January to hear visions for city, council

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read