The Province is calling on residents of the Kootenays to use less water.
The East Kootenay is experiencing very low stream flows, in what the Government is calling a Level 3 drought.
Water Stewardship Manager Valerie Cameron says there has been a lack of rain to recharge streams.
She is asking all residents and businesses to reduce water usage by 30 percent.
“If you have a 12 minute shower, cut back the length of your shower. Or if you are watering your lawn and you normally would water for half an hour, try to cut back to 20 minutes,” Cameron says. “Everybody should always be very careful about water conservation anyway and not waste water. Its just too precious to waste.”
Cameron says limiting outdoor use is the easiest way to conserve.
“In municipal areas, people watering their lawns and their gardens and agriculture is the biggest consumptive use of water,” Cameron says. “If there is a way to improve the efficiency of outdoor water usage, that’s something that we are really encouraging.”
Low river levels creates stress on fish and ecosystems. It also limits the amount of water available to extinguish fires and can affect drinking water in communities.
If the situation worsens, mandatory water restrictions could be implemented.
– Water Stewardship Manager Valerie Cameron, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
– Jeff Johnson