Drought ratings from the Province of B.C. will see Regional District of Nanaimo asking residents to make a more determined effort to limit water usage in some areas of the region beginning tomorrow.
Residents in all RDN water service areas, such as Nanoose Bay peninsula and Decourcey (Pylades), in an area south of Nanaimo, are entering into Stage 3 restrictions, essentially a request that residents voluntarily scale down water usage. The RDN has been in Stage 2 watering restrictions since May 1, according to a press release. Stage 2 requires watering on even and odd days, corresponding with odd- and even-numbered addresses. Hand-watering, drip and micro irrigation and vegetable and food garden watering are not included in restrictions.
North Cedar Improvement District will also enter into Stage 3.
Among the RDN’s suggestions are reducing sprinkler times, cutting back on lawn-watering days and refraining from watering certain parts of a lawn. Residents can also avoid washing boats and vehicles, unless for safety reasons; sweeping rather than washing driveways; retrofitting old irrigation systems and adding mulch and topsoil to assist with landscape water retention.
“Reducing outdoor water use is necessary for ensuring that we can continue to meet water demands for essential household consumption, fire protection and environmental flows can be met as we are faced with local drought conditions,” the RDN said. “If water demand does not decrease under Stage 3, it will prompt a move to Stage 4, a comprehensive outdoor watering ban, in order to achieve the needed conservation.”
The B.C. government elevated the drought rating for Vancouver Island to Level 3, ‘very dry,’ on June 7. This was due to lower than normal groundwater levels and low flows in rivers due to dry weather since March, said the press release. Weather forecasts are calling for a warmer and drier than normal summer.
Residents of City of Nanaimo and District of Lantzville will remain in Stage 2 restrictions.