Aug 27, 2021

Cowichan residents urged to further conserve water

The Town of Ladysmith continues to work with our partners in the Cowichan region to collaboratively achieve solutions for managing our water resources, particularly during the summer months when there is a prevalence of drought. 

The Town has shut down all irrigation to its playfields and residents are reminded that absolutely no irrigation is permitted. This includes:

- Not watering/sprinkling your lawn;
- Not washing your vehicle, boat, RV, trailer or house;
- Avoid washing driveways and sidewalk; and
- Not filling your pool.

The news release below outlines a draft circulated among Cowichan region partners for possible Stage 4 water restrictions.  Any formal adoption of these measures locally, or additional steps for conserving water, will be subject to the approval of Ladysmith Council. 

New Release by the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Water systems operators across the Cowichan region have collaborated to develop new emergency Stage 4 water restrictions in response to the provincial declaration of Drought Level 5 for Eastern Vancouver Island.

Following the announcement of the emergency drought level status from the Province of BC last week, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) Regional Emergency Operation Centre began to actively develop Stage 4 restrictions.

These emergency restrictions have been drafted by local government staff to respond to the Provincial declaration and extremely limited drinking water availability and fire suppression capacity in some water systems.

Under Stage 4, all use of water for any purpose other than drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene is affected.

At this time the new restrictions are only being implemented in two CVRD water systems in the region, Shellwood in Area H – North Oyster/Diamond and Burnum in Area B – Shawnigan Lake. Residents in all other areas across the Cowichan region are asked to consider abiding by these restrictions and take any further conservation measures possible at this time.

“This is a drought situation that we’ve come close to in the past, but never experienced until now,” said Aaron Stone, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Town of Ladysmith Mayor. “It’s been months since we have had significant rainfall in the region, and for many of our watersheds, the circumstances are dire. Please be conscious of water use. Look at and embrace the restrictions we’re asking everyone to adhere to until the rains return. Water is our most precious and critical resource. We’re all in this together when facing such an extreme drought.”

The Stage 4 restrictions were developed in partnership with experts from all water purveyors in the region, including municipalities, First Nations and improvement districts, based on staff expertise and risk-based assessments.

Watering of public and school district sports fields and community parks will be eliminated where possible and reduced on sand-based fields, and local government outdoor water parks and pools will be closed or operating with reduced hours.

To learn more about Stage 4 water restrictions please see the attached information, and for further information about drought conditions visit the New Normal Cowichan website.