Barring a radical change in the weather, all outside watering will be banned starting Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) announced this week.
Bryan Shoji, general manager of infrastructure services, said the SCRD will enact stage 4 watering restrictions next Tuesday as “everything’s pointing to dry weather for the next 10 days.”
The SCRD’s drought management plan calls for stage 4 restrictions after the total water supply has fallen below 20 per cent, Shoji said.
As of late Wednesday, the supply hadn’t yet dipped below that threshold, and Edwards Lake remained a backup source, he said.
Asked if the SCRD had ever gone to stage 4 restrictions in the past, Shoji said the regional district had never enacted stage 3 before this year.
For the south coast, Shoji said, “this is the worst drought on record – and our records go back 115 years.”
Since enacting stage 3 restrictions on Sept. 10, the SCRD has seen consumption drop by almost 50 per cent – and Shoji asked residents to continue those efforts.
“Anything people can do to conserve water now helps,” he said.
Also starting Tuesday, the SCRD will be beefing up its patrols to ensure residents comply with the outdoor ban.
“Stage 4 means we’re going to get really serious and more than likely start issuing tickets to any violators,” Shoji said.
The stage 4 ban will include the District of Sechelt and is also expected to be in effect for Gibsons, which draws one-third of its water supply from the SCRD.
“We’ve never gone into stage 4 before, but unless directed otherwise by council, we will continue following [the SCRD’s] lead,” Dave Newman, Gibsons’ director of engineering, told council Tuesday night.