Penticton survey identifies watering habits

Posted December 2005

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. While 37 percent of survey respondents supported even more stringent water conservation initiatives, 62 percent felt that existing initiatives are adequate. Some of the other results are as follows:

  • Of the 433 households identified as not adhering to water restrictions, 70 percent were watering with garden hoses and sprinklers (manual sprinkling systems).

These results imply most automatic irrigation timers are programmed to run during the off-peak hours between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Furthermore, few people watered on the wrong days, but rather during the wrong times of day. In particular, nearly 40 percent of recorded offences involved watering during the heat of the day—from 9AM to 4PM.

  • About 60 percent of manual sprinkling occurs as infrequently as one or two times a week. By comparison, nearly 20 percent of automatic irrigation systems have been programmed to water only as required (one or two times a week).

Adherence to water restrictions can also be measured by delayed ‘peak-day demand.’ This year, peak-day demand—the 24-hour period with the highest water consumption—was delayed to Aug. 9th, the latest day on record. In 2005, peak-day demand reached 47 million litres. During our hot summer of 2003, peak-day demand reached 54 million litres.

Look for new and innovative water conservation initiatives early next year.

For additional information regarding survey results or wise water use in Penticton, contact the water conservation coordinator Carolyn Stewart at 250-490-2562 or