Irrigation at City parks to focus on high-priority locations

July 9, 2021

Public Service Announcement

Kelowna residents will see the grass at some City parks turn brown in the coming weeks, as irrigation is reduced in certain locations. Record-breaking heat has exacerbated the operational challenges in maintaining regular water schedules in public spaces, and the City needs to be a responsible water user like everyone else in our region right now.

Irrigation systems in some locations do not communicate with the City’s central control network. City employees have been checking these sites and manually operating irrigation systems to ensure lawns are watered, which has become unmanageable through the heat wave. It has even been a challenge to keep grass green in locations where automatic, networked irrigation technology exists. 

Parks Services oversees irrigation at more than 400 sites in Kelowna, including parks, sports fields, medians and boulevards. Going forward, lawn care priority will be given to sports fields and busy locations like parks along the waterfront. These high-traffic areas will deteriorate quickly without adequate water, while more passive locations can be left to go dormant with little negative impact.

Grass will go brown as it goes dormant, but this does not necessarily indicate it is dying. Grass is a resilient plant species and the ground cover will return once we begin to see more precipitation and a return to cooler temperatures.

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