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July 17, 2015 - District of Peachland encourages voluntary water consumption reduction

In response to a request by the Province of BC, the District of Peachland is asking that all of its water users voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 30%. For residential users to conserve 30%, that can be achieved by moving to 2-days/week outside watering.

The entire south coast of BC and southern Vancouver Island is now in a Level 4 drought, and the Okanagan is at a Level 3. No one wants to see the Okanagan go to a Level 4 drought status, so communities are being asked to do what they can to reduce that potential. Peachland’s water supply is in very good shape, but that could change if high temperatures return, and increase stream temperatures to the point where the Ministry will require higher stream flows in order to avoid catastrophic losses of fish stocks. That has already begun to occur in the Columbia River in the United States, where unprecedented temperatures combined with low flows have had catastrophic impacts on the returns of adult Sockeye Salmon.

The District is not considering further mandatory watering restrictions at this time, but we are asking residents to reduce their water consumption by 30%.

In response to the Provincial Government’s request, to respond to the current Level 3 drought conditions, the District of Peachland has endeavored to meet the request to reduce water consumption at all municipal parks. Effective immediately, the District has reduced parks irrigation between 20 – 50%. It is predicted that this cumulative response will yield a net water savings of 30 – 35%. Residents may notice that some of the neighbourhood parks will begin to yellow. However, we are maintaining minimal watering levels in these areas to maintain the future health of the grass. Large public gathering places such as Heritage Park, Swim Bay and Cousins Park will see less visual impact as we need to continue to water these high use areas to ensure that the turf does not become damaged. Prior to this call to action, the District had already reduced watering by 10%, noting that the extended hot and dry conditions had the potential of impacting water availability.

For more information, please contact:

Mayor Cindy Fortin 250-212-9416
Elsie Lemke, CAO 250-767-2647 or cell 250-490-7244
Public Works Office 250-767-2108

Water Conservation

The District's water conservation program is intended to promote efficient use of water resources to insure the maximum benefit can be obtained from the available water supply and minimize the need to develop costly new water sources. Efficient water use also saves money through lower operating costs and deferred capital costs.

North Americans are the highest consumers of water in the world, and their rates are the lowest. The average Canadian uses about 350 litres of water for household use every day. Water usage is a habit that develops over time. Bad habits are hard to change, but with a little knowledge our habits can be gradually modified. The cost of water is very affordable if we adopt good habits in our daily water use. If you and your family adopt the simple habits listed below, you can reduce your water consumption by as much as 50%.

Small Drips Equal Big Losses!

One small drip can waste as much a 75 litres of water a day! Make sure that precious water isn't leaking down the drain or hitting the gutter without nourishing your grass, trees and plants.

  • Repair Leaky faucets and always turn off your taps tightly so they don't drip.
  • Consider auto irrigation for your lawn and garden
  • Adjust sprinkler timers or place a tin can on the lawn to measure how long it takes to collect one inch of water. That's how little your lawn needs each week even during warm weather.
  • Check your toilets for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, colour appears in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak and it should be repaired immediately.
  • Install water-efficient plumbing fixtures such as low-flow shower heads and toilets that use six litres of water or less per flush. If you have an older toilet, simply place a weighted plastic bottle filled with water or sand in the water tank to reduce the amount of water per flush.
  • Adjust the water level of your washing machine and use cold or warm water instead of hot.

More Water Doesn't Always Mean More Green

  • A typical lawn only needs about an inch of water each week.
  • Most shrubs and trees only need water once a week
  • Lawns look healthier with moderate watering every 3 - 5 days rather than watering for a short period every day

    • Keep a container of cold water in the fridge for drinking.
    • Don't run the tap continuously when rinsing food or dishes.
    • Scrape, don't rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
    • Run the dishwasher only when full.
    • Install aerators on kitchen taps.
    • Check for leaky taps and appliances.
    • Take shorter showers or smaller baths.
    • Install water saving shower heads.
    • Turn off the taps while shaving or brushing your teeth.
    • Install water saving devices in toilets
    • Install aerators on bathroom taps.
    • Check for leaky toilets and faucets.
    Laundry Room
    • Run the washing machine only when full, or adjust the water levels.
    • Check for leaky taps.
    Lawn and Garden
    • Lawns and gardens require only five (5) millimetres (1/5 inch) of water per day during warm weather. Less is needed during spring, fall or cool weather.
    • Water lawns every three to five days, rather than for a short period every day. Apply five millimeters of water for each day since the last watering in warm weather. The amount of water can easily be measured by placing a can or jar in the area being sprinkled. Measure the time required to apply the proper amount of water and use this figure for future sprinkling.
    • Grass which is green does not need water. Water is required when the grass stats to develop a black tinge along the top. Recovery is almost immediate when water is applied at this stage. Blacking does not hurt grass. Browning does.
    • Do not over water in anticipation of a shortage. the soil cannot store extra water.
    • Use shut off timers or on/off timers i possible. Do not turn on the sprinklers and leave for the day.
    • Prevent water loss due to evaporation by watering during the cool part of the day, in the early morning or late evening. Do not water on windy days.
    • Maintain lawns at a height of 6.5 centimeters (2 1/2 inches)
    • Young or freshly transplanted garden plants need less water more frequently, not extra water, until they are established.
    • Most shrubs and trees need water only once per week, even in warm weather.
    • Use organic mater and mulch covers to retain moisture and prevent evaporation.
    • Reduce car washing and use a broom rather than a hose to clean sidewalks, driveways and patios.
    Automatic Sprinklers
    • Schedule properly, taking soil type, slope, water pressure, varieties planted, and the requirements of your water supplier into account.
    • Water only when needed
    • Check regularly for leaks and breakage.
    • Adjust sprinkler head pressure to avoid overlap and wasteful watering of roadways and sidewalks.
    • Clean filters regularly.
    • Most importantly, override the automatic system with common sense especially during period of rain.
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