EDITORIAL: Blonde lawns

Officials urging residents to get serious about water conservation

Some people are blissfully unaware of the important issues facing their communities.

Some people just don’t care.

Parksville Coun. Sue Powell was working in her garden last weekend when she noticed what her neighbour was doing.

“I witnessed someone power washing their driveway for three hours,” Powell said Monday night.

Water is scarce on Vancouver Island, as odd as that sounds. The snowpack is minimal, we’ve had a hot and dry year and Parksville is at Stage 3 for water restrictions.

These water restrictions can be complicated and they change as you cross boundary after boundary in this over-governed region. Suffice to say power washing a driveway is verboten at Stage 3.

It was a Saturday when Powell witnessed what is a clear violation of water restrictions. The city’s bylaw officer doesn’t work Saturdays. Even with a bylaw officer on the job, enforcement is predicated on complaints and we’ve been led to believe the pile of files is high on the bylaw enforcement officer’s desk.

Would the officer even get to the site of the power washing, or any other alleged offence? If he/she did attend, would there be a warning first before a fine? Do the bylaws in relation to water restrictions have any teeth?

“I think we need to start trying to enforce what we have,” said Powell.

Mayor Marc Lefebvre jumped into the conversation. His target was green lawns.

“Lawns don’t exist in nature,” said the mayor. “They are an invention of man. If there ever was a summer when lawns should go blonde it’s this summer.”

Ah, blonde is the new green.

“We are in a tough position, we need people to co-operate,” said the city’s director of engineering, Vaughn Figueira. “We really need to take this seriously.”

Yes, people have rights. People who pay their taxes and water bills have rights. Like all rights, people are free to exercise them as long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of others. Power washing your driveway and keeping your lawn that familiar shade of green may contribute to a re-evaluation of water restrictions.

Call your city or town or regional district office. Read the stories we are presenting in the paper (pages 3 and 6 in Tuesday’s paper, and online at www.pqbnews.com). Be educated, be responsible, when it comes to the use of water. It’s the neighbourly thing to do.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Individuals chosen to begin ‘road to recovery’ at supportive housing facility

Orca Place at 222 Corfield St. is expected to open this summer

RCMP make arrest following break-in at Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Police credit tips from public for helping with case

Qualicum Beach craft beer festival to showcase local brews, spirits

Event will feature 20 Vancouver Island breweries and distilleries

Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs

Union of B.C. Municipalities provides $125,000 grant

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Most Read