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Stage 1 water restrictions continue into mid-July for Chapman users

With more than a meter of snow on the ground around Chapman lake in late June, the cool, damp spring may mean that Stage 2 water restrictions may not come for the Coast's largest water system until the second half of July.

While Stage 2 water restrictions are in place for Keats Island’s Eastbourne water system as of June 30, the cool and damp spring on the Coast has translated into early July watering restrictions at the lowest level for those connected to the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) Chapman system.

SCRD manager of communication and engagement Aidan Buckley told Coast Reporter via email that “for the first time ever, staff undertook a snow survey in late June and confirmed that there was still over one meter of snow on the ground at Chapman Lake. Staff are still analyzing the collected data, but at first glance it is anticipated that for the Chapman water system, Stage 2 might need to be called sometime in the second half of July.

“Staff are also closely monitoring the water demand for the South Pender water system. A comprehensive water supply update will be provided at the July 14 Committee of the Whole meeting of the SCRD Board,” Buckley wrote.

Stage 1 water conservation measures were introduced across all SCRD-managed water systems on May 1. Under those provisions watering of lawns with sprinkler systems is restricted to two days per week. Using sprinklers to water gardens, trees, shrubs and flowers on residential properties is restricted to three days per week. Permitted days are based on residential addresses and are detailed on Hand watering of landscaping and gardens is permitted as needed in Stage 1, as is use of hoses to wash vehicles and sidewalks. Filling of pools, hot tubs and outdoor water features on residential properties is also OK at Stage 1.

If Stage 2 restrictions are enacted, watering of lawns is prohibited and use of sprinklers on residential gardens and landscape plants is reduced to two days per week. Hand watering or drip-irrigation of trees, shrubs and flowers is limited to four hours per day, from 7 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Other outdoor residential water uses remain as at Stage 1.

Commercial food crop producers are exempt from Stage 1 and 2 restrictions and watering of public playing fields is also allowed, on a restricted schedule.

In 2021, the Chapman system was moved to Stage 2 restrictions on July 5, to Stage 3 on July 23 and to Stage 4, a ban most outdoor uses on Aug. 10. Stage 4 rules remained in force until Sept. 20. Watering restrictions at Stage 1 (or higher) remain in place for all SCRD systems to Sept. 30 annually.