In response to the record-breaking heatwave and increased demand on local water resources, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has implemented Stage 3 watering restrictions for eight of its nine water service areas
Under Stage 3 watering restrictions, residents are requested to further reduce non-essential outdoor water use, including lawn watering and washing cars or outdoor surfaces. If water demand does not decrease under voluntary measures, it will prompt a move to a Stage 4 comprehensive, outdoor watering ban to ensure essential water needs, according to the RDN.
Cooling measures for health and safety, fire protection and environmental flows can still be met, the district said in a news release.
“Reducing discretionary outdoor water use is necessary to keep up with essential water demands during these extreme conditions. We appreciate the continued efforts of residents in taking these water conservation measures,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “We also want to ensure that residents know they can continue to use water to cool off, stay hydrated and stay safe.”
Permitted watering times are between 7–10 a.m. or 7–10 p.m. for no more than two hours total allocated per day. The same watering schedule as Stage 2 will be maintained, houses with even numbers can water on even days and houses with odd numbers on every odd day.
Some helpful ways to cut back on water use include:
-Reduce the 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.
-Avoid washing vehicles or boats unnecessarily, unless for safety reasons.
-Sweep outdoor surfaces with a broom rather than using a hose or power washing.
-Retrofit leaking or inefficient irrigation systems.
-Add mulch/topsoil to aid in landscape water retention so you can decrease sprinkler run times.
For many water systems in the region, Stage 2 watering restrictions have been in effect since May 1, 2021, including for customers of eight of the nine RDN water service areas. Ongoing Stage 4 watering restrictions remain in place for the RDN’s Decourcey water service area.
All current watering restrictions can be found on the RDN website.