Rules may restrict funds

A politician forecasts tighter water restrictions will leave the utility’s budget high and dry.

A politician forecasts tighter water restrictions will leave the utility’s budget high and dry.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has initiated stage one water restrictions in the hope of decreasing consumption during the hot weather.

“I agree with conservation but we will lose revenue for the utility,” said director Bob Spiers, adding that a 10 per cent reduction in residential consumption could reduce revenue by $158,000 in Vernon in the third quarter.

Staff insists stage one restrictions are needed because of the ongoing dry conditions.

“We are doing heightened awareness and targeting water waste,” said Zee Marcolin, utility manager. “We want people to know what they should be doing. There’s a lot of watering of roadways.”

Marcolin added that larger agricultural customers are also being contacted about conservation.

“We want to hit this hard so we can stay away from stage two.”

Director Doug Dirk suggests that the funding of utility operations may need to be reviewed.

“User fees are sensitive to usage and changes in usage and taxation is not,” he said.

Under stage one, residents can water:

• Tuesday, Thursday, and/or Saturday if their property has an odd address number.

• Wednesday, Friday, and/or Sunday if their property has an even address number

• Automatic timer irrigation may operate between the hours from midnight to 6 a.m.

• Manual sprinklers (moved by hand) may be used between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and midnight.

• Drip irrigation may operate between the hours of 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. (could previously run anytime under normal restrictions)

• Customers using a watering can or hose with spring-loaded nozzle may hand water anytime

More details can be found at www.rdno.ca/waterrestrictions.