CRD making changes to summer watering restrictions

CRD making changes to summer watering restrictions
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The Capital Regional District is updating its summer water use bylaw to help reduce peak demand periods, which is straining the water system.

Every year, the CRD implements Stage 1 watering restrictions in Greater Victoria, which run from May 1 through Sept. 30.

Previously, under Stage 1 watering restrictions, people could only water their lawns on certain days at certain times, depending on their address.

For example, people who had an even number address could only water their lawns on Wednesdays and Saturdays, between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. or between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

People with odd number addresses had similar restrictions, and were only allowed to water their lawns during the same time periods, but on Thursdays and Sundays.

Now, however, beginning on May 1, 2024 people will be able to water their lawns between 12:01 a.m. and 10 a.m. on their given watering day, so long as they use a timed or automatic irrigation system.

The CRD says it’s allowing overnight watering to help reduce sudden, peak demand for water services in the summer.

“High and instantaneous demand for water at 4 a.m., 5 a.m., and 6 a.m. on residential watering days during the summer is causing unnecessary strain on the CRD’s drinking water supply infrastructure,” said the regional district in a release Friday.

“These demands impact the drinking water system’s ability to maintain adequate flow, pressure, and highwater quality standards.”

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Meanwhile, public authorities are now being asked to not water their public areas or community playing fields on Wednesdays during the summer to avoid overlapping with peak residential use times, though they are allowed to water them on any other day.

“We continue to have ample water supply to meet the needs of the communities that are supplied drinking water by the Regional Water Service,” said Gord Baird, commission chair of the Regional Water Supply Commission.

“Adding an overnight watering window under the bylaw and encouraging landowners and residents to switch timed irrigation systems to this new expanded window will help to better manage peak morning flows, reduce the possibility of turbidity events, and help alleviate impacts related to high demand due to heat events,” he said.

The changes are being made as amendments to the CRD’s Water Conservation Bylaw No. 4099.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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