Water restrictions elevated to Stage 1

June 21, 2019

Stage one watering restrictions are now in place for the City of Kelowna Water Utility, including all water customers receiving water from the Southeast Kelowna water supply system. Glenmore Ellison Improvement District (GEID) has also informed the City they are moving to stage one restrictions.

“Stage one conservation efforts require all water users to be mindful of the water they use in order to reduce overall demand by 10 per cent, said Kevin Van Vliet, Utility Services Manager. “All water consumers should ensure that timing of irrigation matches the assigned day watering schedule, fix leaking taps or pipes and reduce household water consumption by avoiding unnecessary use such as washing driveways.”

Assigned day watering restrictions remain in place, and residents are encouraged to reduce watering whenever possible and to avoid watering during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This ensures that water is not wasted to evaporation and that delivery systems can keep up with the demand for drinking water, irrigation, and commercial use while still ensuring we can accommodate emergency situations such as fighting fires.

Below average snowpack and low spring precipitation in the Central Okanagan has led the Province to declare Drought Level 3. Okanagan Lake is currently low for this time of year and McCulloch reservoir, which supplies the Southeast Kelowna water system, did not fill this spring and is below normal capacity.   

“Should the hot and dry weather and high water demand continue through the next few weeks, the City Utility will need to consider Stage two restrictions, which implements more drastic reduction in consumption,” said Van Vliet. “As we head into July, we will be working directly with Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB), other local water purveyors and monitoring lake levels closely. By taking action now and being more vigilant about efficient water use, the potential to move to more severe stages is reduced.”

Residents can visit kelowna.ca/water to view the Kelowna Coordinated Drought Plan (City of Kelowna Bylaw 10480). Water restriction stages run from ‘normal’ through to ‘Stage 4’ with increasing water use restrictions.

Under the current ‘Stage 1’ water restrictions:
Properties with an odd number address may water yards and lawns on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; even address numbers may water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. No properties are to water on Mondays.

Automatic underground irrigation systems may run between 12 a.m. (midnight) and 6 a.m. up to three days per week. For example, an odd numbered home can water anytime between 12 a.m. (midnight) and 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and/or Saturday.
Manual sprinklers and handheld sprinkling (with a spring-loaded nozzle on hose or a with a watering can) can occur between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. or 7 p.m. and midnight on the assigned day, up to three days per week.

For more information on watering restrictions and to find conservation tips, visit kelowna.ca/watersmart.

Agricultural irrigation users are reminded to be diligent with their water use and follow best practices in efficient agricultural irrigations. For more resources, visit obwb.ca/ag/