With groundwater levels in parts of the region seemingly below normal, Regional District of Nanaimo water service areas will see Stage 2 watering restrictions taking effect Wednesday, April 1.
According to a press release, residents in a majority of the RDN’s water service areas – Nanoose Bay Peninsula, Englishman River Community, French Creek/Sandpiper, San Pareil, Whisky Creek, Westurne Heights, Melrose Terrace and Surfside – will see lawn watering limited to a maximum two hours a day between 7-10 a.m. or 7-10 p.m. with even-number addresses watering on even-numbered days and odd-number addresses watering on odd-number days.
EPCOR French Creek, North Cedar Improvement District and City of Parksville are also set to see Stage 2 restrictions come April 1.
The RDN said it has experienced less rainfall than usual in February and March and snowpack accumulation has been below average. Groundwater levels in some parts of the region “are tracking lower than usual for this time of year,” according to the RDN, and forecasts are pointing to the possibility of below average rainfall for spring.
“Taking proactive water conservation measures early is necessary to ensure water demands for essential household use, fire protection, irrigation purposes and environmental flows as we prepare for a dry summer ahead,” the RDN said.
City of Nanaimo, District of Lantzville, Town of Qualicum Beach and Bowser Waterworks are set to enter Stage 1 watering restrictions, with sprinkling allowed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on any day.
Mike Squire, City of Nanaimo manager of water resources, told the News Bulletin that the city is anticipating entering into Stage 2 restrictions in May.
“We automatically go to Stage 1 at this time of year and there’s no indication we need to go to [Stage 2] right now,” said Squire. “Our reservoirs are at full capacity and our snowpack is looking very well. We have above-normal conditions.”
Hand-watering, drip and micro irrigation and watering vegetable gardens are exempt from Stage 1 and 2 restrictions.