The number of days per week that you are able to water your lawns and gardens in Cranbrook will be reduced from three days per week down to two starting on Wednesday, August 19, the City of Cranbrook announced Monday.
Even numbered properties in town can water on Thursdays and Sundays while odd numbered properties can water on Tuesdays and Saturdays. No one waters on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays until further notice. On your permitted days watering can occur from 4 am to 11 am and from 7 pm to 11 pm. This covers all outdoor water use including: washing of vehicles, RVs, campers, boats, windows and the filling of kids’ pools or hot tubs.
“This is a situation we have been monitoring closely for some time and we’ve done our best to make sure the public is aware that these new restrictions would be coming if needed,” said Chris Zettel, Corporate Communications Officer for the City of Cranbrook. “They are needed now.”
The water level in Phillips Reservoir, where the City draws its water, continues to drop and not enough rainfall has been received in the watershed this summer to replenish the water being taken out. The move reducing the number of watering days is laid out in the City’s Outdoor Water Management Policy 60-20. Although the policy indicates that reservoir levels must reach 75 pe rcent of capacity before phase 2 restrictions take effect, a number of other significant external factors have prompted the additional restrictions to happen earlier.
“Two weeks ago, the Province raised the drought level in the Kootenays, including the East Kootenay, to level 3, which calls for voluntary water use reductions by up to 20 percent,” Zettel said, adding “the Province also expects significant water supply shortages for the area through the rest of 2015.
“Current creek and river levels, including Joseph and Gold Creeks, are what we normally see at the end of September, not August. Fishing in rivers and streams in the southeast have been closed to all anglers by order of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) effective just this past weekend due to the decreased water levels and rising water temperatures.”
“We will keep watching the water level in the Phillips Reservoir and continue to update the public regularly through the local media and on our website,” Zettel says. “We are hopeful that the situation stabilizes and we don’t get to the point where further watering restrictions are needed. Time will tell.”
For more information about the changes in watering days, water conservation and what you can do to conserve, visit our website at www.cranbrook.ca and click on ‘Water Conservation’ under the City of Cranbrook Links on the homepage.