Regarding farms not being able to water: There is one thing “allowed” under Stage 4 water restrictions and that is the washing of “sidewalks, and driveways, windows, fences or exterior building surfaces” as “required by law for health/safety.”
I’m going to unequivocally state (although it really should go without saying) that food should be a health and safety issue and if it means passing a law to deem it so then the SCRD needs to get on this.
It is understandable that even in Stage 4 biohazards and other health concerns (e.g. vomitus, excrement, etc.) need to be cleaned away from sidewalks and other surfaces for health and safety reasons; however, food must also be considered a health and safety matter and should never be barred from life-sustaining water being applied.
As far as I am concerned, this would be a contestable court matter that the regional district would lose. The gall of suggesting people not be able to maintain the viability of food crops is bordering on criminal besides being unjust and unethical.
Food should immediately be put in a separate line item (removed from being lumped in with flowers and greenhouse plants) and be the only thing that receives a Stage 4 exemption (other than the previously stated health and safety concerns).
If this means barring the sprinkling of lawns earlier in the season to conserve water for this purpose then so be it: after all, grass is a weed.
I have addressed this issue on a few occasions with SCRD staff over the last few years and I am shocked it hasn’t been changed.
Although I don’t have a garden this year, I encourage people to ignore this decree (and of course make up for it by extreme conservation methods in other water usage).
John McDougall-Goulet, Sechelt