Businesses urged to use porta potties, provide bottled water amid drought in Tofino

Businesses urged to use porta potties, provide bottled water amid drought in Tofino

The District of Tofino is encouraging businesses and residents to take significant measures to conserve water as a “historic and prolonged drought” continues to weigh on the community.

The municipality is currently under stage three water restrictions, the second most severe on its scale, and is asking businesses to take steps to further reduce water use to prevent having to move to stage four water restrictions.

Businesses are being encouraged to install porta-potties instead of using washrooms – except for staff and urgent health needs – and should inform all visitors of water restrictions.

Additionally, businesses, including tour operators, resorts, and short-term rental owners, are encouraged to provide bottled water only and to limit or restrict laundry services.

Short-term rental operators are also being asked to turn off outdoor showers and rinse stations, and encourage guests to bring their own bedding and towels.

Meanwhile, residents should take shorter showers and only run full loads in washing machines and dishwashers.

RELATED: Water to be pumped from Lake Cowichan into Cowichan River amid drought

The district says it has received 75 per cent less rainfall than usual this summer.

In an average year, Tofino receives about 424 millimetres of rain between May 1. and Sept. 1. This year, the region has received less than 100 millimetres, according to the district.

If Tofino needs to move from stage three to stage four water restrictions, it may trigger a local state of emergency with water being restricted to drinking and sanitation purposes only.

“Stage four restrictions would have a significant impact on businesses and potentially trigger a local state of emergency,” said the district in a release on Sept. 1. “It will take the entire community to save water to avoid stage four. Every drop counts.”

A full list of water conservation recommendations can be found on the District of Tofino website.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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