Water consumption within the Regional District of North Okanagan has been reduced marginally.
But not enough to remove Stage 1 water restrictions for Greater Vernon Water customers.
In fact, Stage 2 restrictions could soon be implemented.
“Water consumption has been reduced marginally, but reduced,” said RDNO engineering general manager Dale McTaggart, updating board directors on a report he wrote July 27 concerning Greater Vernon Water restrictions and RDNO’s drought management plan (DMP).
“We’re actually getting back into the blue, which means back into normal, but we do not plan to change the restriction.”
In the report, directors were notified that although drought parameters for Greater Vernon Water are currently in Stage 1 restrictions, forecasts indicate that Stage 2 restrictions may be required to safeguard water supply.
Upland snowpack levels are below average, the river forecast centre numbers are unfavourable and irrigation water demand remains high.
“We did advise the agricultural committee that if the drought continues, there is no rain, and the reservoirs are getting low, we may have to move the irrigation shutdown forward a week,” said McTaggart, who remained hopeful that a planned shutdown for September is still on track.
Right now, said McTaggart, Stage 1 restrictions will stay in place through the fall.
“In our drought master plan, the concerns about reservoirs are over a two-year period,” he said. “If we don’t get a heavy snowfall this winter, we could be in real trouble next year. We just don’t know what lies ahead.”
McTaggart said RDNO staff will continue to closely monitor drought triggers, and follow the master plan to form sound decisions and reduce impacts on the RDNO communities.
Under Stage 1 restrictions, Greater Vernon Water customers can water their lawns on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday if their property has an odd address number, and Wednesday, Friday and Sunday if the property has an even number.
There is no domestic or commercial outdoor watering on Monday and between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Automatic timer irrigation may operate between 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. Manual sprinklers (moved by hand) may be used between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Drip irrigation may operate between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m.
Customers using a watering can or hose with spring-loaded nozzle may water anytime.