Stage 3 Watering Restrictions are now in effect for Ladysmith, the Diamond, Stz'uminus First Nation and the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
This is a proactive measure to make sure there is plenty of water available in the event of a wildfire, given the extended hot, dry weather and the extreme fire danger rating throughout the region.
Recent fires in the area have highlighted the potential for interface fires and the need to ensure water supply in the event that one of these fires occurs on the border of Ladysmith
At the end of July, the Town saw some of the highest daily water demands that we have experienced in several years. Moving to Stage 2 did reduce this demand considerably, but water demand is still high.
The reservoir level comparison chart for Holland Lake shows that this year's water consumption is consistent with or slightly lower than 2014, 2015 and 2016, but still higher than in other years (2018 is the heavy red line in the chart - click to enlarge).
When we make decisions about water restrictions, we take a number of factors into account. These include weather projections (both short- and long-term), water usage levels in the community, and the likelihood of a major fire event that will need a lot of water to fight. It is a balancing act, because of course we do not wish to be too restrictive on our citizens while making sure there is enough water for extremely high demand situations.
Current weather predictions indicate that the hot dry weather will continue for some time and the long-term projection seems to imply a dryer than normal winter.
We encourage all residents to be water wise throughout the year - with just a little effort, we can reduce our water use by as much as 40 per cent.
For simple water saving tips, please visit our water conservation page.
Please note also that TimberWest has closed gate access to its forest lands due to the extreme fire danger and the risk of interface fires. Visit their website for full information and updates.