The province has called for voluntary water restrictions in the face of a level 3 drought. (Black Press file photo)

Cowichan looking at Stage 2 water restrictions as Level 3 drought declared

The B.C. government has announced a Level 3 drought rating for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

The B.C. government has announced a Level 3 drought rating for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The heightened alert means a call for voluntary water-use reductions for all surface and groundwater users, including farmers, local governments and residents alike.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District had been under Level 2 (dry) drought conditions for roughly four days before the provincial government upgraded the entire province to Level 3 (very dry).

SEE RELATED: Water levels in Cowichan Lake now considered “dire”

“I would encourage everybody in the region to follow the recommendations that have come out from the province that have to do with drought level 3 in terms of voluntary water conservation regardless of which system you’re on,” said CVRD spokesperson Kris Schumacher on Friday.”

At home that means limiting your outdoor watering, taking shorter showers, not leaving the tap running and watering when it’s cooler out and when it’s not windy. Water efficient appliances and drought-tolerant vegetation are also helpful.

In general, at home, on farms and in industry, the reduction of water use and use of water-efficient equipment will go a long way to conservation.

“We’ve had a Stage 1 water restriction in place since May 1 and that is still in effect and we are currently coordinating with our municipal partners and other water utilities about going to a Stage 2 water restriction for next week which would be pretty typical for the drought level that we’re at,” Schumacher said. “But, given the severity of how dry things are right now and what the forecast looks like, we could be seeing even greater restrictions later in the summer if we don’t get some significant rainfall here.”

According to a provincial press release, “If voluntary reductions of water use are insufficient to maintain flows above critical levels, the Province may consider regulating water usage under the Water Sustainability Act. Specific actions could include temporarily suspending water licences or short-term water approvals to restore flows to minimum critical levels in the affected streams.”

Schumacher said to check newnormalcowichan.ca for up to date environmental conditions and to see what restrictions are in place in the area you live.

“It is kind of our one-stop shop for all information about drought levels and water restrictions,” he explained. “All of the municipalities and water utilities including Stz’uminus and Cowichan First Nations are contributing their water restriction data to us so regardless of where you live within the Cowichan region, you can go there and, very easily by clicking where you are on the map, find out which water restrictions are applicable to you. There’s some pretty easy to interpret tables that show you exactly what those restrictions mean.”

The time to act is now.

“I think everybody can get a sense of what it is when you look at your local river or creek and see how dry things are. Sometimes even with that, you can’t see what’s really happening underneath that and how severe it can be in terms of groundwater levels,” Schumacher noted. “We don’t want to get to a situation in the summer where there’s actually areas that are out of water. It’s good to conserve now in an effort to make sure there’s enough until we get back to the wet season again.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Drivesmart column: Are we perpetuating mediocrity with how we teach young drivers?

If the teacher is ill equipped to teach, the new driver will not learn what is necessary

Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery sharing wealth of online art

The CVPAG page will feature new artists and galleries every two weeks

Mary Lowther column: The beauty of Lady Godivas from the garden

So THAT’S where my Lady Godiva pumpkins went!

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Saanich mayor receives his foster bees through pollinator rental program

‘I feel like I’m an adoptive father,’ Fred Haynes says of his rented mason bee colony

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Most Read