Greater Vernon water restrictions may evolve

The Regional District of North Okanagan is preparing to shift from normal water restrictions to stage one

Greater Vernon residents are being urged to ease off the taps.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is preparing to shift from normal water restrictions to stage one regulations to conserve the water resource for months to come.

“If it happens, it will be this week or the week after,” said Zee Marcolin, water utility manager.

Presently, residents with odd numbered addresses can water Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays while those with even numbered addresses can irrigate Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 6 to 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. until midnight. People can use drip irrigation at any time of the day.

Under stage one, the odd-even schedule continues for manual sprinklers but drip-irrigation is restricted to 7 to 10 p.m.

The primary difference between the stages is RDNO moves towards enhanced enforcement with stage one.

“We hope people will pay attention to their water use,” said Jennifer Miles, RDNO’s water sustainability co-ordinator.

“The goal with stage one is to reduce water use by 10 per cent and educate people to be more water wise.”

Marcolin insists there is currently sufficient water in reservoirs but it’s important to take action  now because an evolving climate could put pressure on the system.

“We need to have enough in the reservoirs going into next year because if it’s dry next year, there will be a problem,” she said.

“Restrictions are all about planning for the future.”