Boundary municipalities issued water conservation notices last week, following the province’s announcement Wednesday, July 14, that the Kettle River basin had reached Level 4 Drought status.
Level 4, or “extremely dry,” is the second-highest drought designation, according to the province’s 2021 Drought and Water Scarcity Response Plan. The plan forecasts negative social, economic and ecological impacts at this stage, prompting the B.C. Government to ask Boundary residents to cut their water usage by half.
Grand Forks, which updated its summer watering schedules last month, went on Stage 3 restrictions as of Friday, July 16, according to city press release. Residents are now permitted to run sprinklers and automated irrigation systems on lawns and gardens once per week — Saturdays for even-numbered addresses, Sundays for odd-numbered addresses.
There is to be no car washing, no spraying of patios and/or driveways and no filling of any water features, including pools, until Stage 3 restrictions are lifted, according to the press release. The city meanwhile said it will cut its water usage by 50 per cent, cutting off water altogether at Valmar Park and the City Park Sports Field and by significantly dropping irrigation levels at the city’s baseball parks.
The City of Greenwood followed suit, echoing Victoria’s call to voluntarily halve water consumption. Residents are encouraged to water trees and other “high valued plants” from dusk to dawn. Residents are being asked not to wash their cars and to refrain from power washing driveways and sidewalks, the city announced Thursday, July 15.
A social media post by the Village of Midway meanwhile reminded residents that it’s illegal to water lawns and gardens between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., according to Bylaw No. 413. “It is better to have dry, yellow lawns and still have water to drink,” the post reads.
For more information about drought conditions in the Boundary, consult the B.C. Drought Information Portal at arcgis.com.