Vancouver Islanders are being asked to be mindful of their water use due to ongoing warm and dry weather conditions.

As of today, BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has issued a Level 3 drought rating for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

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This means residents, industry, farmers, and municipalities are asked to voluntarily reduce surface and groundwater use.

“While some streams on Vancouver Island, especially those backed by storage reservoirs, have adequate flows, several important salmon streams are approaching critical environmental flow thresholds for ecosystems and fish, including juvenile trout and salmon,” reads a statement from the ministry.

“Environmental conditions are being closely monitored in case there is a need to implement specific actions to protect salmon and other fish within streams.”

(BC Drought Information Portal)

Water users on all islands are also reminded to make sure that water intakes are screened to Fisheries and Oceans Canada standards to prevent fish from being pulled into water systems as water levels drop.

Water conservation tips

At home:

  • limit outdoor watering
  • do not water during the heat of the day or when it is windy
  • consider planting drought-tolerant vegetation
  • take shorter showers
  • do not leave the tap running (i.e. while brushing teeth)
  • install water-efficient showerheads, taps 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

Industry:

  • reduce non-essential water use
  • recycle water used in industrial operations
  • use water-efficient methods and equipment
(Drought classification infographic/Government of BC)

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