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Nine months later, Sunshine Coast water restrictions finally end

For the first time since May 1, 2022, there are no regional watering restrictions on the Coast as Stage 1 lifts for the Chapman Water System. The emergency operations centre also stands down.

For the first time in nine months, there are no regional watering restrictions on the lower Sunshine Coast. Stage 1 restrictions were lifted on the Chapman Water System Feb. 3. 

"After periods of significant rainfall over the past two months, the SCRD has lifted Stage 1 water conservation regulations on the Chapman Water System," Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) communications manager Aidan Buckley wrote in an email. “SCRD staff continue to monitor creek flows and snowpack in the Chapman Watershed.

"The extended drought period, followed by freezing temperatures at Chapman Lake, added a level of uncertainty and unpredictability for water supply in the fall and winter months. Staff visited Chapman Lake last week, and along with creek flow data, have determined that there is sufficient water supply to lift all water conservation regulations at this time." 

Wet weather is in Environment Canada’s forecasts for the Coast. Over Feb 6 and 7, rain, with predicted accumulations in the 20 to 30 mm range. Showery conditions are predicted to continue until Feb. 12.

The Chapman water system which serves about 90 per cent of the SCRD’s water clients in the areas between Halfmoon Bay and West Howe Sound. Restrictions started at Stage 1 May 1 and remained at that level until July 27 when the system moved to Stage 2 until Aug. 22. It was at Stage 3 for a week in late August and entered Stage 4 (severe) on Aug 31. Stage 4 restrictions were lifted on Dec. 13 and the system reverted to Stage 1.

Buckley also reported that the SCRD’s emergency operations centre (EOC) has also been stepped down. That EOC was activated Sept. 27 of last year to assist with management on the ongoing drought conditions in the area. The email stated that in the coming weeks, staff will complete tasks from the EOC and will be integrating “learnings from the past year into our emergency response plans.”

According to its website, the SCRD brings in Stage 1 water conservation regulations on May 1 for all its water systems, "to promote water conservation and to ensure water supply and treatment systems can meet the seasonal increase in demand from outdoor water use." Stage 1 allows for outdoor water use under a number of restrictions.