The City of Kelowna is encouraging residents to reduce their water usage this summer in an effort to not only preserve the Okanagan ecosystem but to avoid water shortages and restrictions as well.
“Kelowna is right on the banks of Okanagan Lake, so it’s easy to forget that we actually live in a semi-arid climate,” said Ed Hoppe, the city’s water quality and customer care supervisor.
The lake is big, Hoppe said, but it isn’t limitless.
“We need to manage our water supply and the lake responsibly to guarantee our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy it in the same way we do now,” he said.
He added that immediate benefits to water conservation include reducing the chance of severe shortages and restrictions throughout the summer.
“We can only deliver so many litres of water to one neighbourhood or one home at a time. “When we get into peak water season in July and August, there’s a risk that demand can outstrip supply, and that means higher restrictions,” he said.
To avoid restrictions, he’s asking city water utility customers to be mindful of how much water they use and when they use it.
”Consider using a variety of beautiful native plants and landscapes that don’t require as much water,” he said. “Many residents don’t know households are only allowed three days of irrigation per week even under normal conditions.”
The City provided steps that can be taken to reduce water consumption, which includes:
- Knowing one’s watering schedule: odd-numbered addresses water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and even-numbered addresses water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
- Watering between midnight and 6 a.m.
- Collecting rainwater to use on flower beds and gardens.
- Letting your grass grow long, sharpening your mower blade and over-seeding your lawn.
Additionally, the city has launched a “Kelowna Water Hero” contest that encourages residents to do their part in reducing water consumption.
Participants are invited to share their water reduction pictures, stories or videos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #YLWWaterHero, or respond to the city’s water hero post on its Facebook page. Doing so will gain you eligibility to win one of five $100 gift cards to a Kelowna nursery of your choice.