Residents of Abbotsford and Mission are being asked to conserve water and follow the current watering restrictions in anticipation of both communities facing a complete watering ban.
Abbotsford and Mission share joint water utilities and infrastructure and both communities are currently at Stage 2 of their joint water shortage response plan, which allows residents in either community to sprinkle their lawns twice a week in the morning. Stage 2 was extended this year starting May 1 through September 30, due to the low snow pack, according to a city news release.
Staff will be out in both communities enforcing the current watering restrictions to help with delaying a Stage 3 restriction activation.
If the hot weather continues without rain, it is expected the Stage 3 restrictions will be implemented shortly.
Stage 3 brings a complete ban on all lawn sprinkling; no new lawn sprinkling permits will be issued; and non-re-circulating fountains will be prohibited. Residents will still be able to hand water flower and vegetable gardens.
“The unseasonably warm temperatures and lack of rainfall this spring, combined with our significantly reduced snowpack have contributed to the lowering of the Dickson Lake levels faster than we expected,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun in a news release.
“The driest months of July and August are still to come and we are asking residents to follow the twice weekly lawn watering restrictions and help to conserve the lake level.”
“Residents need to be aware that the lake level is lower this year than most years,” said Mission Mayor Randy Hawes. “We’re asking residents to be smart about their non-essential water use.”
The concern is that if lake levels are drawn down too low and there is a dry winter, the communities will be starting off next spring with a lower than average water level in the lake.
Abbotsford has turned off all of its outdoor fountains and spray parks will operate on motion sensors to help with conserving water.
Residents are being asked for their help too by limiting non-essential watering as well as refraining from planting any new lawns or grass seed.
For more information on water conservation log onto www.ourwatermatters.ca or call 604-557-4423.
Average daily water use in Abbotsford and Mission has been up this spring, compared to previous years.
City data shows that the average daily flow in May increased over last year. In 2014, the average was 65.1 million litres per day (MLD), while this May it was 72.4.
The water system is capable of supporting a capacity of 123 MLD, with extended maximums for peak days.
However, the May levels are still lower than in 2005 through 2009. In 2005, the average daily use was recorded at 78.2 MLD.
June has also shown an increase over recent years. This month, through to June 17, the daily average use has been 87 MLD. That is higher for June than the previous 10 years, except 2009, when average daily use hit 91.8 MLD.