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Penticton residents asked to reduce water use by 30%

File Photo / Regional District of Central Okanagan

PENTICTON — The tinder-dry conditions in B.C.’s Interior are affecting water levels significantly. Now, Okanagan residents are being asked to help preserve water, which is depleting as a result of the dry conditions.

“The government of B.C. has announced a Level 3 drought rating for the south Thompson, Nicola, Similkameen, Okanagan-kettle and Skagit regions,” says Simone Blais, Communication Officer for the City of Penticton.

Penticton residents are being asked to reduce their water consumption by 30 per cent because of low reservoir levels.

“[We have] taken the additional action of suspending [fishing] in streams and rivers throughout the south Okanagan due to ongoing low stream flows and warming water temperatures.”
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Blais adds that the reduced reservoir storage levels are six weeks earlier than usual.

“While all dams reached full pool this year, the low snow pack and hot, dry weather conditions have resulted in a decline in reservoir storage levels approximately six weeks ahead of normal,” explains Blais.

Blais says despite the lower reservoir levels, the city is seeing higher than normal water use.

“Storage volumes in the Penticton Creek and Ellis Creek dam systems are being constantly monitored and adjusted to maintain maximum storage volumes,” says Blais. “The Water Treatment Plant is adjusting to use lake water to maximize reservoirs, and park irrigation will be reduced by 30 per cent effective immediately.”

Blais says it’s critical that any further water restrictions be avoided. She says a ‘Level 3″ drought means the region is experiencing “very dry conditions” that could have potentially serious ecosystem and socioeconomic impacts.

She says residents are encouraged to limit their lawn irrigation by 30 per cent.

“For example, if you normally water your lawn for one hour, only water for 40 minutes,” she says.

Click here for more water conservation tips and information.

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