Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii are being urged to reduce water consumption. These regions are currently experiencing Level 3 drought conditions, which call for voluntary water use reductions of 20% or more from all municipal, agricultural and industrial users.
With weather conditions expected to remain dry in the coming weeks, staff with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations anticipate that the region will likely experience significant water supply shortages in 2015, unless there is substantial precipitation between now and the end of June.
Ministry staff are closely monitoring river levels and may upgrade the drought level if the weather continues to have a negative effect on stream flows and water supply. Residential, agricultural and industrial users within municipalities and regional districts are encouraged to observe local water conservation bylaws.
Level 4 drought conditions, the highest rating, are determined by factors including regional stream flows, water storage capacity, ecological concerns, weather forecasts and impacts on water users. Should conditions reach Level 4, provincial water managers may exercise their authority to temporarily suspend short-term water permits or industrial water licences in affected watersheds.
Water conservation tips:
- Limit outdoor watering.
- Don’t water during the heat of the day or when it’s windy.
- Consider planting drought-tolerant vegetation.
- Take shorter showers.
- Don’t leave the tap running.
- Install water-efficient showerheads and toilets.
On the farm:
- Implement an irrigation scheduling program using real-time weather data.
- Schedule irrigation to match crop needs and soil storage capacity.
- Improve water system efficiencies and check for leaks.
- Focus on high value crops and livestock.
- Reduce non-essential water usage.
- Recycle water used in industrial operations.
- Utilize water-efficient methods and equipment.
B.C. Drought Information: http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/drought/