Province elevates east Vancouver Island to Drought Level 5

Image from Province of BC Drought Information Portal
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The B.C. government has elevated east Vancouver Island to provincial Drought Level 5 from Level 4.

The City of Parksville said it continues to monitor water consumption levels daily. It added the city is in a fortunate position to maintain current operating levels and continue to meet water demands. The city will remain at stage 3 watering restrictions, which encourages voluntary water conservation by residents.

“We recognize a comprehensive watering ban (stage 4 watering restrictions) would be a hardship for our residents and appreciate the efforts of residents to voluntarily conserve water, particularly discretionary outdoor water use,” reads a media release from the city.

The city is asking residents to further reduce all non-essential outdoor water use, including limiting lawn watering and refraining from washing cars or outdoor surfaces.

“If water demand does not decrease under these voluntary measures, it may prompt a move to a stage 4 comprehensive outdoor watering ban to ensure essential water needs for household use, fire protection and environmental river flows can be met,” the release continues.

Stage 3 watering restrictions are as follows: 

• Residents are encouraged to voluntarily reduce watering of lawns to avoid potential future watering ban if city water demands cannot be managed. 

• Vegetable gardens and fruit trees are exempt from all watering restrictions. 

• Odd numbered addresses may water on odd numbered days and even numbered addresses on even numbered days. Watering times are 7–10 a.m. or 7–10 p.m. for a maximum of two hours watering per day. However, stage 3 level restrictions ask residents to reduce watering times within these times. 

Detailed information about the city’s water restrictions may be viewed on its website. 

The city is a partner in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s (RDN) Team WaterSmart programs. As a proactive approach to conserve essential water in the face of ongoing drought conditions, the RDN announced a move to stage 4 watering restrictions for the nine RDN water service areas.

Since late spring, higher than normal temperatures combined with an extensive period with little or no precipitation has resulted in unprecedented stress on freshwater resources. Drought season core indicators include 30-day precipitation and seven-day average stream flow. 

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