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New Water Restrictions Bylaw in Effect for Greater Vernon Water Customers

Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Regional District of North Okanagan Board of Directors has adopted the Greater Vernon Water Use and Regulation Bylaw No. 2545, 2014. This bylaw combines regulations from several older bylaws and also introduces updated water use restrictions. The new “Normal” Restriction Stage is in effect year-round, replacing the previous Stage 1. We are currently under “Normal” conditions, meaning that customers may choose to water on:

  • 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 of 12am-6am
  • Manual sprinklers (moved by hand) may be used between the hours of 6am-10am and 7pm-12am
  • Drip irrigation may operate anytime
  • Customers using a watering can or hose with spring-loaded nozzle may water anytime

Customers should note the following:

  • NO DOMESTIC/COMMERCIAL OUTDOOR WATERING ON MONDAYS
  • NO DOMESTIC/COMMERCIAL OUTDOOR WATERING BETWEEN 10AM AND 7PM
  • A higher level of restrictions may be instituted due to drought or emergency

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) reminds customers that these restrictions are a guide for choosing when to water, not a requirement to water 3 days a week. Most lawns only need 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week, which can be measured by putting a pie plate under your sprinkler. Running a sprinkler for a maximum of 20 minutes in any one spot is a good rule of thumb to give water time to absorb into the soil.

GVW is launching these revised water use restrictions following a significant public consultation and policy review process. In response to low storage levels in 2010, GVW has updated the Drought Management Plan with further input from the community. A Drought Response Team (DRT) was created that included community stakeholders from the hospitality industry, vehicle wash businesses, environmental awareness groups, irrigation suppliers, landscape maintenance companies, pool industry, beverage suppliers, the public at large, and government agencies. Consultations with the public were held in 2011-2012 on the revised water use restriction stages proposed by the DRT. As a result, the following stages were established:

In 2012-2013, staff completed a major overhaul of GVW regulations to restructure and amalgamate several bylaws to provide greater clarity to customers and improve the ability of staff to enforce regulations in a timely manner. Water shortage awareness signs were also designed in 2013 to be used in conjunction with new restriction levels being introduced this summer.

“The new three day options for watering should help make it easier for customers to remember which day to bring out their sprinklers,” said Jennifer Miles, RDNO Water Sustainability Coordinator, “we hope that the new restrictions are seen as a helpful tool for planning and maintaining water efficient lawns and gardens”. More details on the restrictions, along with waterwise gardening tips, can be found at www.rdno.ca/waterrestrictions.