Kelowna moves to more closely align summer watering restrictions with its Okanagan neighbours

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KELOWNA - Clearing up confusion around watering restrictions is one of the key aims of changes to Kelowna’s water regulation bylaw, which also includes a new schedule of fines for violatons.

A change is coming to the even/odd system where homes with an address ending in an odd number were told to irrigate their lawns and gardens on odd numbered days with the opposite for even numbered houses.

Beginning this spring, houses with even addresses will water Wednesday, Friday and Sunday while odd numbers will water Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No household irrigation will be allowed Mondays.

Utility services manager Kevin Van Vliet in a report to council says day-of-week scheduling is easier to remember and eliminates small discrepencies such as odd-numbered houses enjoying two water days in a row when the month has 31 days. Vernon already uses this system.

No-water Mondays will help with enforcement efforts, Van Vliet says, and will provide data-based insights into water use during the irrigation season.

Some residents have complained of the cut in watering time from 3.5 days to three days, Van Vliet notes, but staff are prepared to offer bylaw exemptions to large-lot houses who can prove the intent of the bylaw is being met.

New definitions of the four stages of water restrictions are accompanied by proposed fines for violations, which range from $50 for normal and stage one violations to $400 for stage three and four violations.

The bylaw changes also address the temporary use of city water on new single family construction sites, which Van Vliet says have poor compliance with the need for a temporary use permits and cost taxpayers through unregulated use.

Last summer, Kelowna resisted moving to stage one watering restrictions long after communties and water utilities in the Okanagan Valley had adopted them.

Find past stories on watering restrictions here.

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