Cranbrook is stepping up mandatory watering restrictions to Stage 3 as the province recently increased the drought rating to the highest level in southeastern corner of B.C.
“The entire East Kootenay has been elevated to Drought Level 5, and given that the Phillips Reservoir is continuing to drop we must move to Stage 3 watering restrictions,” says Jason Perrault, Acting Deputy Director of Public Works.
Effective midnight on Sunday, August 27, 2023, the City of Cranbrook is mandating the move to Stage 3 watering restrictions until further notice.
Outdoor watering is being restricted to one day a week — even numbered addresses can water on Thursday only and odd numbered addresses can water on Tuesday only between 6am and 8am and 8pm and 10pm.
No watering is allowed any other day of the week.
Additional restrictions now apply, such as a banning the use of manual sprinklers, however, homeowners can continue to water their lawn, trees and shrubs and flower gardens using a hose with a shut-off nozzle or in-ground irrigation system only.
This change does not impact the ability to water your vegetable gardens or edible plants.
The full list of watering regulations includes:
• watering reduced to one day per week
• watering vegetable gardens and edible plants with an automatic shut-off nozzle only or in-ground irrigation system only (no manual sprinklers)
• watering lawns, trees, shrubs, and flower gardens with an automatic shut-off nozzle or in-ground irrigation system only (no manual sprinklers)
• no washing of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, building surfaces or windows
• no washing of personal vehicles
• no filling of pools, hot tubs, ponds, or fountains
• no watering of new sod and seed (no exemption permits issued)
On Aug. 24, the province raised the drought rating in the East Kootenay to Level 5, meaning that adverse impacts to socio-economic or ecosystem values are almost certain. The province is requesting the maximum voluntary water use reduction, which prompted the city to move to Stage 3 watering restrictions.
“We appreciate those that voluntarily moved to Stage 3 watering restrictions last week to help conserve water but now everyone must abide these restrictions,” says Mayor Wayne Price. “It is imperative that we that we continue to conserve water to help slow the reduction of the Phillips Reservoir.”
In terms of how much water Cranbrook is using, Perrault recently provided some context by contrasting days when people are allowed to water against days where people are not.
On Wednesdays over the last month —where there is no watering allowed even at the baseline Stage 1 restrictions — the city is treating an average of 13 million litres.
Contrast that to other days of the week where watering is allowed and the city is treating up to just under 25 million litres.
Do the math and that means approximately 11 million litres of water — roughly five Olympic-sized swimming pools — is being used for irrigation purposes on days when watering is allowed.