August 25, 2015 - 8:35 AM
KAMLOOPS – The city is asking residents and business owners to voluntarily reduce their water because of low river levels.
The province recently issued a Level Four drought rating for the South Thompson and North Thompson river basins. Rainfalls have not been sufficient to replenish aquifers or local stream flow levels.
The province has taken the additional action of suspending fishing in streams and rivers throughout the Thompson Okanagan.
A Level Four means a region is experiencing extremely dry conditions and water supply is insufficient to meet resident and ecosystem needs.
The city is requesting residents voluntarily reduce water consumption by 30 percent for the remainder of this dry period. This is critical to avoid further regulated restrictions should conditions worsen and stream flows continue to decline.
Mike Firlotte, the city's utility services manager, says using 30 per cent less water applies mainly to outdoor use. The city is asking residents to water their trees, gardens and lawns either for less time daily or less often weekly.
"We’re not asking people to stop. We're asking them to be aware, just don’t waste water," Firlotte says.
River levels in the North and South Thompson rivers are reaching historic lows and in many cases temperatures are reaching lethal limits for migrating salmon. Predictions are that above average summer air temperature and reduced precipitation will continue.
The city will advise residents once the voluntary restrictions are over.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at email@example.com or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015