September’s long stretch of dry weather is forcing the Cowichan Valley Regional District to increase water use restrictions to Stage-3.
The restrictions apply to water systems serviced by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, local municipalities, Cowichan Tribes, Stz’uminus First Nation, Cowichan Bay Improvement District and Mill Bay Waterworks District.
Under Stage-3, the use of sprinklers is not permitted, nor is the washing of vehicles and homes, or the filling of pools and hot tubs.
Hand watering and micro-drip irrigation of vegetable gardens and fruit trees for up to two hours each day can be done before 9am, or after 7pm. Watering of all other vegetation may be done for one hour per day during the same times.
After a cool and damp start to summer, autumn arrived during prolonged drought conditions and the province recently brought eastern Vancouver Island to drought Level 4.
The CVRD says the new normal of hot and dry summers in the Cowichan Valley can result in adverse impacts on watersheds and stringent water conservation efforts are needed.
The regional district says drought and fire risk conditions will be monitored and adjustments may be made to the watering restrictions.
For much of the Cowichan Valley, the fire danger threat level is high or extreme, and any outdoor burning is discouraged at this time.