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Stage 1 - Water Restrictions in Effect for Greater Vernon Water Customers

Posted Monday, July 6, 2015

The Regional District of North Okanagan wishes to inform customers of Greater Vernon Water (GVW) that Stage 1 Water Use Restrictions are in effect. This is a shift from “Normal” conditions, meaning that there will be increased monitoring of outdoor water use to encourage customers to reduce water use by 10%. GVW asks customers to only water when needed. By being waterwise now, we can avoid greater restrictions.

Most lawns only need water once per week to remain healthy. The days for sprinkler irrigation listed by the restrictions bylaw give customers options for which day they choose to 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 of 12am-6am
  • Manual sprinklers (moved by hand) may be used between the hours of 6am-10am and 7pm-12am
  • Drip irrigation may operate between the hours of 7pm-10am (could previously run anytime under Normal restrictions)
  • Customers using a watering can or hose with spring-loaded nozzle may hand water anytime

Customers should note the following:


“Our reservoirs filled early this year and then stopped spilling on June 10, 2015. This means we are using stored water earlier than normal. Combine that with a hot, dry June causing everyone to irrigate more has pushed us into Stage 1 restrictions” said Jennifer Miles, RDNO Water Sustainability Coordinator, “it’s a good opportunity to remember that waterwise or xeriscape landscaping is well suited to our dry climate, offering year-round enjoyment and avoiding the worries of keeping thirstier plants happy.” Most landscapes are over-irrigated, leading to lawns addicted to water. Healthy lawns only need 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week, which can be measured by putting an upside-down Frisbee or 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. Many outdoor spaces could be converted to xeriscape or other permeable surfaces like paving bricks that require less maintenance than grass. Pledge to be waterwise at www.MakeWaterWork.ca and you could win a waterwise yard upgrade worth $6,000.

GVW reminds customers that these restrictions are a guide for choosing when to water, not a recommendation to water 3 days a week. Other ways to be waterwise include:

  • Using a broom to clean driveways and other outdoor surfaces
  • Putting a spring-loaded nozzle on your hose with an automatic shut-off
  • Using a bucket and sponge to clean your vehicle or visit a carwash that recycles its water
  • Avoid draining and re-filling pools or hot tubs – just top up as needed and use a pool cover to reduce evaporation. If you must drain be sure to drain over grass to avoid dumping chemically contaminated watering into storm drains

More details on the restrictions, along with waterwise gardening tips, can be found at www.rdno.ca/waterrestrictions.