Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kelowna water utility finally adopts watering restrictions

July 29, 2015 - 9:00 PM

KELOWNA - There is still no compelling reason to introduce watering restrictions but the City of Kelowna water utility is doing it anyway.

“It’s based on supporting the provincial drought response, it's political, there is no technical reason,” Adrian Weaden says.

The water quality supervisor says the decision was made this week to heed the provincial government’s request that all water providers voluntarily reduce consumption by 30 per cent.

That request came in the face of the severe drought affecting the southern part of B.C. Many regions are experiencing level four drought conditions, including the Kamloops area, the Lower Mainland and all of Vancouver Island. Many Okanagan communities have already implemented some type of water restriction this summer.

The Okanagan region is experiencing level three drought conditions and Weaden says the main source of water for the city owned water utility is still in good shape.

“Okanagan Lake fluctuates almost a metre every year. You can characterize the lake level as being slightly below normal for this time of year. We are at about 13 centimetres above the drought years fo 2003 and 2009.”

Kelowna’s other four water providers, Rutland Water Works, Glenmore Ellison Improvement District, Black Mountain Irrigation District and South East Kelowna Irrigation District, are all already on stage one water restrictions and have been for some time.

Kelowna’s water utility is the only provider around Okanagan Lake that had no watering restrictions.

Stage one water restrictions begin Tuesday, Aug. 4 and is based on your house address. Properties ending in odd numbers water on calendar days ending in odd numbers and properties ending in even numbers water on even numbered days.

Automatic underground irrigation systems must be timed to run between midnight and 6 a.m. Manual sprinklers and hand watering must be done between 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 6 p.m. to midnight on the appointed day.

Weaden says initial enforcement of the restriction will be based on complaints to bylaw and that violators would be educated, not ticketed at first.

“It would take repeat violations to get a ticket at this point."

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kelowna's myriad water systems--including Black Mountain system--have so much water they could supply the North Okanagan. Yes, this is strictly political as the second sentence indicates.

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.