August 31, 2015 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Annual water restrictions end today, Aug. 31, but Kamloops residents are still being asked to voluntarily restrict their water use.
The mandated water restrictions run from May 1 through Aug. 31 every year and while the city recently asked residents to reduce their water use, Mike Firlotte, the city’s utility services manager, says the restrictions will not be extended.
The city requested residents and businesses use 30 per cent less water and Firlotte says these restrictions pertain mostly to outdoor watering and result in watering less often or for shorter lengths of time.
“Approximately 80 per cent of water is used for outdoor watering during the summer months,” Director of Public Works Jen Fretz says.
Firlotte says Kamloops residents normally use roughly 35 million litres but that usage can jump to as high as 105 litres during the summer.
“We use over three times as much water in the summer for outdoor activities,” Firlotte says.
The city plans for increased usage during the summer months, but a level four drought rating in the South Thompson region has put water resources at risk.
A level four is the highest rating and means a region is experiencing extremely dry conditions and river levels are very low. The water supply has become insufficient to meet the needs of residents and wildlife.
The province has suspended fishing in streams and rivers throughout the Thompson-Okanagan because of the drought level.
In the more than a decade Firlotte has worked for the city this is the first time he recalls hitting a level four drought rating. He also does not recall the city ever having to ask residents to voluntarily restrict their water usage.
He says if further water restrictions are needed during the drought, they would likely come from the province.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015