(file photo)

The province is urging people on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to watch their water use with severe drought conditions in the region.

On the government’s scale of drought levels ranked from 0 to 5, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands remain at Drought Level 4.

At this stage, adverse impacts on fish and ecosystems are likely. Already, water shortages in private groundwater wells have been reported and watersheds are at high risk. These areas include:

  • The majority of the Gulf Islands
  • Fulford Creek on Salt Spring Island
  • Tetayut (Sandhill) Creek on the Saanich Peninsula
  • Koksilah River
  • Chemainus River
  • Millstone River
  • French Creek
  • Tsolum River
  • Black Creek

Residential, industrial, and agricultural users are all being asked to do their part to save water.

At home, people should limit outdoor watering and avoid watering during the heat of the day or during windy conditions. Residents should also take shorter showers, avoid leaving taps running, and install water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets.

BC Hydro offers energy-saving kits that can include water-efficient showerheads and faucet heads for low-to-moderate income households. For a single person, the kit is available for free for incomes up to $34,600.

Farmers, meanwhile, are asked to implement irrigation scheduling programs, improve water system efficiencies and to check for leaks. Focus should be placed on high-value crops and livestock when it comes to watering.

Industrial users are asked to recycle water used in their operations, reduce non-essential water use and to implement efficient methods and equipment.

More information on current drought conditions is available on the Government of BC website.

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