In last year’s Water Conservation Plan, the City of Williams Lake committed itself to following a three-step program for water conservation.
The Irrigation Industry Association of British Columbia (IIABC) has created an online Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator to help irrigators develop water-efficient irrigation schedules. By entering basic information about climate, landscape types, soil conditions, crop root depth, and irrigation system type and spacing, irrigators can determine the optimum number of days to water, the irrigation run time for each day, and the maximum run time per cycle.
In 2004, the City of Williams Lake undertook a major review of its water utility and associated management practices. The resulting documents—the “Williams Lake Water Conservation Plan” and the “Waterworks Bylaw”—identify water management and water conservation strategies that will protect and preserve our valuable water resource well into the future.
The following hints will help both residents and growers assess their watering practices over the last growing season and consider improvements for next year.
A water bailiff was hired for the summer of 2005 to help enforce Peachland’s watering restrictions, and to gain a better understanding of how water is used by both residents and growers. This will help the district make sound water management decisions now and in the future.
The City of Salmon Arm’s WaterWise program manager, Eugene Lalonde, can now say with certainty that “residents favour wise water use.” Findings from in-home water audits conducted during the summer of 2005 show conclusively that residents are becoming more aware of the need for water-use efficiency, and are more prepared to take the necessary steps to achieve it.
During the summer of 2005, the City of Penticton’s Water Smart Ambassadors surveyed residents to determine their watering habits. They were thrilled to find that 99 percent of those surveyed agreed that water conservation is important, and that the majority of residents have adopted the City’s new watering restrictions.
On July 20, 2005, the Village of Lumby launched its Water-use Efficiency Program. In keeping with the newly adopted Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan, a Stage-1 water conservation threshold was declared that introduced water sprinkling regulations, a public education program, and a more stringent water level monitoring program for village wells. This was well received by residents, and resulted in excellent voluntary compliance.
The City of Kelowna Water Utility takes conservation seriously, and 2005 will be remembered as the year the utility kicked its Water Smart program into high gear.