City of Kelowna’s Landscape & Irrigation Standards for Water Sustainability


The City of Kelownais among the most proactive municiplaities in British Columbia with respect to water conservation. 

Its WaterSmart program, which was introduced in 1998, has resulted in a 20 percent reduction in average water consumption.  In addition, maxiumum-day demand hasn’t increased during the same period, even though there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of cunstomers.

These successes can be attributed to a complementary blend of visionary decision-making and management, metering and associated legislation and rates, best technological practices, and public education and participation.

Given Kelowna’s semi-arid climate and growing population, the City recognizes that continued diligence is required. In keeping with its commitment to being a leader in community sustainability, City Council recently endorsed a plan that challenges all residents to reduce their water consumption a further 15 percent by the year 2012.

Because the utility is trying to reduce peak demand (the time period when water use is at its highest) the easiest way to meet this goal of 15 percent by 2012 is to enable and encourage all residents to cut back on irrigation. This can be achieved by their applying water-wise landscape design, planting, and irrigation practices.

For its part, the City is developing landscape and irrigation standards for all city-owned properties and for all new residential, industrial, commercial and institutional construction. By involving City staff, key developers, and landscape and irrigation experts in facilitated discussion about the benefits of,and barriers to, workable landscape and irrigation standards, the utility is developing a program that meets a wide range of social, environmental, and economic needs while achieving Council’s consumption reduction targets. The standards are slated for implementation in the Spring of 2008.

 Visit the WaterSmart website