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Spring’s sun brings water restrictions to Tofino

Tofino’s automatically implements Stage 1 Water Restrictions on May 1 every year
Water restrictions arrived in Tofino last week. (Westerly file photo)

Spring’s sun is finally starting to shine down on the West Coast, which means it’s time for Tofitians to start adhering to water restrictions.

Tofino’s automatically implements Stage 1 Water Restrictions on May 1 every year.

Those restrictions mandate that residents with odd numbered civic addresses may only water their lawns, gardens and landscaped areas on Monday and Thursday from 6-9 a.m. and 7-10 p.m. Residents with even numbered civic addresses may water on Tuesday and Friday between 6-9 a.m. and 7-10 p.m..

“The water restrictions are put in place to ensure that Tofino has adequate water for households and businesses to last the summer, but it’s also vitally important that the district maintains enough water for fighting fires,” Tofino mayor Dan Law told the Westerly News.

He said district staff “very carefully” monitor the water flow from the district’s reservoirs on Meares Island and rainforests protected by Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks in the Hahuulthii of the Tla-o-qui-aht Ha’wiih and it’s important to get the message out that that water is limited.

“It’s really important to get the message out now so that we’re not caught in a really dry summer with insufficient water,” he said. “We have a finite water supply and we know that it can be stressed in an especially dry summer.”

He added some meteorologists are forecasting a return to El Nino weather either this summer or next, so, “It’s wise to expect a drier summer, than certainly last year, and to take precautions appropriately.”

He added Tofino residents are wary of the water supply and usually do well adhering to restrictions.

“I think by and large, residents realize the importance of conserving water. Personally, I don’t see a lot of automatic sprinklers, for instance, that you would see in the city; you don’t see that in Tofino and that’s a generally a major source of water loss in urban centres. I think residents realize that we have a finite amount of water and when we need it, such as in emergencies and fighting fires, then we have to have an adequate supply, that’s the bottom line.”

He added Tofino is in a tough position as rainfall is at its lowest when water demand is the highest.

“Tofino has taken steps over the last number of years to improve the water supply and assess water use throughout the district and that’s going to give us a plan going forward on how to deal with our growing water needs and our limited supply,” he said.

“Maybe it’s just that I don’t know other towns as well as I know this town, but it seems to me that it’s an acute issue in Tofino because of the growth and because of the dramatic increase in usage in the summer when we have a massive population increase with visitors and of course more seasonal workers come at the same time that we have a dramatic decrease in rainfall. That’s an acute issue we always have to deal with and the first step is water conservation and that is the most important thing right now.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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