The impact of real turf grass on Kelowna’s water utility is significant – 77% of the water used by residents in the summer months ends up on the lawn.
After a series of focus groups with Kelowna homeowners, it became apparent that there were three key reasons why residents used so much water: 1) poor soil conditions; 2) inefficient use of automatic irrigation systems; and 3) lack of education.
Xeriscape is simply a water conservation tool. The homeowner still has to learn how to irrigate for water efficiency. This experience demonstrates that using a tool without the knowledge and willingness to use it properly can actually be counterproductive.
In keeping with its newly adopted Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan, the Village of Lumby introduced a Stage-1 Water Conservation threshold that instituted water sprinkling regulations, a public education awareness program, and increased water-level monitoring for village wells.
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.