City Water Utility customers encouraged to conserve water this summer

June 9, 2021

News Release

Be a water hero – reduce your use. There are simple steps we can all take to reduce the amount of water we use this summer, helping to preserve the Okanagan ecosystem and avoid water shortages and restrictions. And, if you become a #YLWWaterHero this summer, you can win up to $100 to spend at a local nursery of your choice! 

“Kelowna is right on the banks of Okanagan Lake, so it’s easy to forget that we actually live in a semi-arid climate,” said Water Quality & Customer Care Supervisor Ed Hoppe. “It’s true that it’s a big lake but it isn’t limitless. We need to manage our water supply and the lake responsibly to guarantee our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy it in the same way we do now.”

There are more immediate benefits to water conservation, too. The more we conserve today, the less chance we have of severe shortages and restrictions through summer. The water that flows to City Water Utility customers must be drawn from Okanagan Lake, treated and then be transported through the City’s distribution network before it arrives in homes. There are many steps before the water from the lake makes it to your tap or hose.  

“We can only deliver so many litres of water to one neighbourhood or one home at a time,” Hoppe added. “When we get into peak water season in July and August, there’s a risk that demand can outstrip supply, and that means higher restrictions. To keep this from happening, we ask City Water Utility customers to think about how much water they use, what time of day they use it, and to consider using a variety of beautiful native plants and landscapes that don’t require as much water. Many residents don’t know households are only allowed three days of irrigation per week even under normal conditions.”

Ready to become a Kelowna Water Hero? Tell us what you’re doing and be entered to win one of five $100 gift cards to a Kelowna nursery of your choice. Residents can post to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #YLWWaterHero, or respond to today’s Water Hero post on the City Facebook page. Water heroes can tell us how they conserve water or, better yet, post a picture or a video. Full contest rules are available at https://www.kelowna.ca/our-community/engage/social-media/official-contest-rules

There are easy steps we can all take to reduce consumption and ensure an uninterrupted flow:

  • Know your watering schedule: Odd-numbered addresses water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and even-numbered addresses water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
  • Water between midnight and 6 a.m.
  • Collect rainwater to use on flower beds and gardens.
  • Let your grass grow long, sharpen your mower blade and over-seed your lawn.
  • Book a free irrigation system assessment through the City for free.
  • Apply for Water Smart rebates when updating irrigated landscapes.
  • Add climate-appropriate plants to your yard.
  • Hire a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) to make your landscape water sustainable.

For more information on what you can do to conserve water this summer, visit Kelowna.ca/watersmart