Tofino eases water restrictions after urgent call for conservation

Tofino eases water restrictions after urgent call for conservation
Tofino is pictured in March 2023.

The District of Tofino has lowered its water restrictions from stage three down to stage two after narrowly avoiding its most severe water use restrictions earlier this month.

On Thursday, the municipality said it was able to ease water restrictions thanks to the conservation efforts of residents and businesses, and because a new prototype bypass valve was installed to help refill reservoirs.

It’s a dramatic change from what the district had said on Sept. 1, when the municipality was poised to enter stage four water restrictions, the most severe it can impose.

“In early September, after over four months of drought, water reservoir levels reached historic lows,” said the district in a release Thursday.

“Supply creeks slowed to record lows, community water demand exceeded supply, and without rain in the forecast, the trigger points for stage four water restrictions were met.”

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

However, the district says community water use declined by more than 20 per cent after a call to conserve water was issued on Sept. 1.

Additionally, some rainfall and the district’s new bypass valve, which diverts water from “higher performing creek flows” into reservoirs, helped stop the community from reaching stage four water restrictions.

Stage two water restrictions mean that residents can now water food plants by hand every other day, during specific hours.

When the district was under stage three water restrictions, all outdoor use of water was prohibited.

As the rainy season returns, the municipality says it is still keeping water needs at top of mind.

The district is forming a new water conservation roundtable, which will include residents, business owners and district staff, to review Tofino’s water conservation bylaw.

“The District of Tofino would like to extend gratitude to the public works crews’ innovation and hard work over the long weekend to install this critical piece of infrastructure which was a key factor in avoiding stage four water restrictions during this year’s historic drought,” said the municipality Thursday.

“Tofino has once again demonstrated their perseverance, creativity and resilience in the face of challenging times. Thank you for all your conservation efforts.”

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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