We’re in a Water Crunch, so let your lawn go golden!

The province has advised we’re into Drought Level 3 and is asking everyone to reduce their water usage by 30%.

How can you help?

Per the Village’s watering regulations, residents may only sprinkle every other day in the early morning between 6:00am and 10:00 am or in the evening from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. In Salmo odd-numbered civic addresses sprinkle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and even-numbered homes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Everyone can water on Sundays.

  • Let your lawn go golden. It will recover in the fall.
  • Hand water with your hose or a watering can.
  • If you use a sprinkler, cut your usage time back by 30%.
  • Do your dishes in a dish pan and use the water for watering flowers and bushes.
  • Shower in a dish pan in your tub or shower and use the water for flowers and bushes.
  • Let your car or truck get dusty and proudly tell family and friends you are doing your bit for water conservation by not washing it.
  • Get a rain barrel to capture and use the rainwater on your garden. (It’s got to rain eventually!)

The Village has received the following notification from the province.

July 15th – The Province has elevated the drought level in all areas of the Kootenay Boundary Region, effective Wednesday July 14. Updated regional drought levels and supporting information can be found on the BC Drought Information Portal. Once again, please be aware that the four level drought scale (1-4) most are familiar with has been replaced by a six level system (0-5). This six level scale and associated indicator thresholds have been revised in the retitled  “BC Drought and Water Scarcity Response Plan

West Kootenay Region at Level 3

The current Kootenay Boundary Region, basin drought levels are as follows:

  • Upper Columbia- Level 1
  • East Kootenay- Level 2
  • West Kootenay- Level 3
  • Lower Columbia- Level 3
  • Kettle- Level 4

All basins within the Kootenay Boundary Region have seen a one drought level increase in the past week. These elevations are mainly due to significantly lower than normal streamflow in many areas combined with a substantial precipitation deficit. Other factors such as low provincial observation well levels, high water temperature and localized fish kills also contributed to setting these drought levels. Short and long term weather forecasts show continued heat and lack of precipitation, indicating that drought conditions will likely remain or intensify in the coming weeks.

Recommended actions to take are as follows:

  • West Kootenay, Lower Columbia: At drought level 3 we are requesting voluntary water use reductions of 30%. This includes both surface water and groundwater.
  • East Kootenay, Upper Columbia: At drought levels 1 and 2 water conservation is encouraged and any unnecessary water use be ceased as conditions are becoming very dry and are forecasted to get worse. This                        includes both surface water and groundwater
  • Kettle: At Drought level 4 we are requesting voluntary water use reductions of 50%. This includes both surface water and groundwater.

We are encouraging local authorities to consider these recommended guidelines when making their own drought management decisions and to reach out with this information to community water users where possible. Drought conditions throughout much of the province are forecasted to continue and likely intensify through the season. This will prompt further public messaging and may lead to a recommendation of more significant and widespread voluntary reduction in water use. In severe cases and where voluntary reductions have not led to results, regulatory action may be required in order to protect fish and the aquatic ecosystem. Regulatory action may come by way of temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act Sections 86, 87 or 88. Letters with this information are being mailed to individual water licence holders in areas affected by level 3 and level 4 conditions.

The drought levels updated on the BC Drought Information Portal may be picked up by local media. Note that the public may confuse provincial drought level with municipal water restrictions. Members of the public with questions related to the provincial drought level which are outside of the scope of Village staff,  can go to FrontCounter BC at 1-877-855-3222. Additional information can  be found on the Provincial Drought Information webpage.

Ryan Grootveld
Water Authorizations Technologist- Kootenay Boundary Region
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
1902 Theatre Road Cranbrook, BC V1C 7G1