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Drought forces water restrictions near Lumby

Regional district places Whitevale community on restrictions as of July 25
Stage 2 water restrictions are now in place for the Whitevale Water community. (RDNO graphic)

Efforts to preserve limited water has turned the taps on a water restriction for Whitevale residents.

The government of B.C. has issued a Level 4 Drought for the Bessette Creek watershed under the Water Sustainability Act.

The Whitevale Water Utility well is connected to Bessette Creek and outdoor watering impacts the creek levels.

As a result of the provincial declaration, the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) is issuing Stage 2 outdoor watering restrictions for the Whitevale community.

Stage 2 restrictions means customers are only allowed to water their lawns twice a week. Watering days for odd house numbers are Tuesdays and Saturdays and even house numbers can water on Sundays and Wednesday.

As always, watering between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. is not allowed at any time.

“Irrigating in the heat of the day is ineffective due to water evaporation and is an easily avoidable form of wasting water,” the RDNO said.

Filling swimming pools, hot tubs, garden ponds or decorative fountains is prohibited.

Residents are also asked to minimize car washing to conserve water during the drought and when they do wash vehicles to use a sponge and bucket instead of running water.

“Did you know that over-watering your lawn not only affects your community’s water supply, it can also harm the health of your grass? Most lawns need just 2.5 centimetre (one inch) of water per week — about the depth of a tuna can.”

An easy way to see whether you are watering an appropriate amount is to place an empty tuna can with the lid off in an area where you are irrigating. When the can is full, usually after 15 to 20 minutes, you know that your grass has gotten an adequate amount of water.

Watering for more than one hour per location is strictly forbidden.

Under Stage 2 water restrictions, customers are allowed to water by hand at any time with a watering can or hose with a spring-loaded shut-off nozzle. Drip irrigation is also allowed any time as evaporation is minimal when the water is applied directly at the plant roots.

For indoor and outdoor water conservation tips, visit

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