The current and forecasted continued warm and dry weather in our area has led the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) to ramp up patrols to enforce current watering rules and educate residents on conservation measures.
The SCRD introduced Stage 2 measures in late July for both the Chapman and South Pender systems, while Eastbourne is at Stage 3 and North Pender remains at Stage 1.
Area weather forecasts
Environment Canada’s seven day forecast for the Coast shows continued daytime high temperatures in the mid-20s for the coming week and chances of precipitation on three days. The Weather Network’s 14-day forecast also shows rain on the horizon for the weekend of Aug. 20 and 21 but no return to the 30 degree temperatures experienced locally in late July.
Effort needed to avoid Stage 3
In a press release issued Aug. 9, the general manager of infrastructure services Remko Rosenboom said, “Since Stage 2 came into effect, we have had some decrease in water consumption but not enough considering current dry conditions. Given that the dry and hot weather is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, we really need residents to conserve water at every opportunity, inside and outside the home. The community’s efforts will keep us in Stage 2 for as long as possible and decrease the chance of escalating to Stage 3 in the coming weeks."
“We ask that the community take the time to understand what the regulations are for each of the stages and water systems,” said Rosenboom. “If there is evidence that water regulations are not being followed, we will investigate and issue warnings or fines.”
The provisions in each water conservation stage are outlined at scrd.ca/Sprinkling-Regulations. Commercial food-producing farms paying a metered rate for water are exempted from the Stage 2 restrictions.
How the SCRD enforces watering restrictions
The release states that the SCRD follows up on all complaints filed regarding water use regulations.
The regional district uses a measured approach when it comes to those reports and its patrolling of neighbourhoods. Enforcement actions begin with warnings to properties in violation of regulations, which include information explaining the applicable water conservation regulations.
If there is continued non-compliance, bylaw officers will issue a bylaw enforcement notice and a fine. Fines go up with higher conservation stages. Violations during Stage 2 are issued fines starting at $300. Stage 3 violation fines are $400 and $500 fines are issued should an area be at Stage 4.
Water regulations help ensure that demand does not exceed the capacity of the water supply and distribution system and also ensure that there is always enough water for fire protection. Regulations apply only to the use of treated drinking water, not to the use of rainwater, private well water or any forms of recycled water.