In response to drought conditions and a warm forecast ahead, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) says it is elevating water restrictions in some areas.
Stage 3 water restrictions will be implemented starting Friday in nine water service areas (Nanoose Bay Peninsula, Englishman River Community (River’s Edge), French Creek/ Sandpiper, San Pareil, Whisky Creek, Westurne Heights, Melrose Terrace, Decourcey (Pylades), and Surfside), Parksville, EPCOR French Creek, and North Cedar Improvement District.
Last Friday, the province issued a Level 3 drought ranking for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands with lower than normal groundwater levels and low flows in most rivers and streams because of the dry weather since March.
Snowpack levels were less than normal and melted several weeks early.
The long-range forecast suggests a hot and dry summer above average this year.
The RDN says Stage 3 water restrictions call for further voluntary reductions in water use on top of Stage 2 requirements with a two-hour maximum for even and odd day watering.
Stage 2 went into effect May 1.
The RDN says reduced outdoor water use is necessary to meet demands for essential household consumption, fire protection and environmental flows.
If water demand does not decrease under Stage 3, the district says it will move to Stage 4 with a comprehensive outdoor watering ban to reach needed conservation.
The region says there are ways anyone under Stage 3 restrictions can cut back, including:
- Reduce lawn irrigation on your property by decreasing sprinkler run times, cutting back on the number of watering days and refraining from sprinkling certain lawn areas. Lawns naturally go dormant in the summer months and return with fall rains.
- Avoid washing vehicles or boats unnecessarily, unless for safety reasons.
- Sweep outdoor surfaces with a broom rather than using a hose or power washer.
- Retrofit old, inefficient irrigation systems.
- Add mulch/topsoil to aid in landscape water retention to support decreased sprinkling.