August 17, 2015 - 11:30 AM
PENTICTON - Recent escalation by the province to a level four drought rating for the Okanagan Valley and the City of Penticton appears to be having little effect on water use in the city.
“We’re not meeting our targets,” communications officer Simone Blais says, referring to a July 17 request from the city asking residents to reduce water consumption by 30 per cent.
The latest figures from the city indicate a reduction in usage of only 13 per cent.
“We’re still asking people to conserve and reduce consumption by 30 per cent. That includes both domestic and irrigation uses,” she says.
Blais says the city is not ramping up conservation restrictions in light of the increase to drought level four conditions, but bylaw enforcement will increase.
“We’ll be following up with those in non-compliance, and if behaviour doesn’t change, enforcement measures will be enacted,” Blais says.
The stepped up enforcement could result in escalating fines for multiple offences, starting at $25, up to $500.
Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit says conservation should be part of everyone’s routine, as the valley is considered a desert. But he noted it’s difficult to say with certainty how much residents have reduced consumption, given the huge increase in population the city experiences with summer vacationers filling hotels, motels and campgrounds.
For water conservation tips, see the City of Penticton website page on water conservation.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015