No water shortage expected in Victoria region

Province issues stage three drought restrictions across the Island

While hot and dry conditions have forced the province to issue stage three drought restrictions across Vancouver Island, CRD officials say the southern Island is not at risk of a water shortage, and residents need not worry about higher restrictions.

“Water conservation is always a good idea,” CRD senior communications manager Andy Orr said, “but we’re not asking people to do any more than they’re already doing.”

Greater Victoria hasn’t seen any serious issues regarding water shortages since 2003, when the Sooke water reservoir was raised.

Orr said the reservoir is 83.5 per cent full, as of Monday, and could continue serving the CRD for over a year at the current level of demand.

Stage one water conservation came into effect on May 1, and remain until Sept. 30. Stage one comes into effect automatically each year, and aims for a 10-per-cent reduction in water usage.

Restrictions include limiting lawn watering to twice a week, from 4 to 10 a.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday for even-numbered addresses, and Thursday and Sunday for odd-numbered addresses. Vehicles must also be washed using a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.

Stage three restrictions, which have been implemented in many districts across the province, call for a voluntary 20 per cent reduction in water usage. Along with heavier restriction to lawn watering, residents are also asked not to fill pools or hot tubs.

While water shortages will not be a problem for residents connected to the CRD water system, homes using well water, particularly West Saanich and Gulf Island residents, may have “significant issues” regarding water.

Orr said that water usage has been reduced significantly over the past 15 years thanks to many residents installing water-efficient toilets and shower-heads.

While the dry weather may not have much effect on water usage, the potential for fires is still high.

The Esquimalt Fire Department is reminding residents to keep their yards maintained, and keep them clear of shrubs and debris, which are often the source of grass fires. If bark mulch is being used in a garden, keep it watered regularly.

“Be vigilant, if you see smoke, call us right away,” assistant fire chief Gib Small said. “We’ve been lucky this year, we’ve gotten calls quickly, before they’ve gotten out of control.”

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