Cowichan Valley Governments Collaborate on Region‐Wide Watering Restrictions

With dry conditions upon us, the City of Duncan, Municipality of North Cowichan, Town of Ladysmith, Town of Lake Cowichan, Cowichan Valley Regional District, and Cowichan Tribes have collaborated to align watering restrictions throughout the Cowichan Valley.

A comprehensive awareness campaign which includes joint ads, development of a frequently asked questions information sheet, door hanger reminders, and up‐to‐date notices advising of the watering restriction stages on each local government website will assist in keeping the region’s citizens informed of the current situation.

Local governments have taken up the Cowichan Watershed Board’s challenge to meet, or beat, the region’s best daily domestic water consumption rate at 246 L per capita per day (achieved in Ladysmith last year), or undertake an initiative to reduce total annual consumption by at least 20% by December 31, 2018. Having a regional approach to water conservation, which includes valley‐wide watering restrictions, will get us one step closer to achieving that goal.

“The lack of snowpack, low flows in the Cowichan River and declining levels in monitoring wells throughout the region make water conservation paramount for every resident within the CVRD,” said North Cowichan Mayor and CVRD Board Chair Jon Lefebure. “Residents understand why water conservation is so important and will appreciate the collaborative work between jurisdictions to limit our impact on the environment.”

“The City of Duncan is committed to responsible stewardship of all our natural resources and with dry conditions across the region, the necessity to conserve water is at the forefront,” said City of Duncan Mayor Phil Kent. “It’s the responsible thing to do and the City is proud to be part of this region‐wide initiative.”

“Ladysmith residents and our immediate neighbours are committed to preserving and protecting our precious water resource,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone. “We also recognize that our watersheds are all interconnected and working together as a region is not only responsible but must be a priority.”

“Lake Cowichan has been acutely aware of the value of water and its impact on daily life,” said Town of Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest. “Despite our close proximity to the Cowichan Lake and River, we adopted a program of universal water metering to do what we can to conserve the valuable resource and asset that water is to all of the residents of the Cowichan Valley. We are now very pleased to be part of this new regional initiative on regulating water use.”

“Cowichan Tribes supports our local governments’ initiatives in the regional water conservation effort,” said Cowichan Chief Chip Seymour. “As Cowichan people, we have a deep respect for water and the Cowichan River, so safeguarding the watershed is key not only for our culture, but for the entire Cowichan Valley and the wildlife that rely upon a clean, sustainable and accessible water source.”

New stage 1 watering restrictions will go into effect May 1st every year moving forward. During stage 1, sprinkling of lawns is restricted to 2 hours maximum (between 6:00 and 8:00 am or between 8:00 and 10:00 pm) on odd or even days, corresponding with one’s house number. Hand watering of trees, shrubs, and gardens is permitted daily up to 2 hours maximum (between 6:00 and 8:00 am or between 8:00 and 10:00 pm) with a hose that has a spring‐loaded nozzle, or up to 4 hours maximum with a micro irrigation or drip irrigation system; this does not include soaker or weeper hoses. Some exemptions will apply and residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the following local government websites for more comprehensive details.