Spring’s calendar has turned to May and that means thoughts of water conservation are in full bloom.
Tofino entered into its annually scheduled Stage 1 Water Restrictions on May 1.
“As we approach summer, we are always mindful that the capacity of our water supply system is finite,” said Tofino mayor Josie Osborne. “The more that we can do to conserve water, the more risk is reduced. Given that it has been a dry spring, our awareness of water supply issues is certainly heightened and reservoir levels are being very carefully monitored.”
She suggested the town’s water reservoirs are “currently full and overflowing so there is no immediate risk,” but added that she hopes residents and visitors will respect the restrictions that automatically kicked in at the start of the month.
While Stage 1 is in effect, lawns and gardens may only be watered with a hand-held canister, or hose with an automatic shut-off system. Residents with odd numbered civic addresses may water on Mondays and Thursdays between 6-9 a.m. and 7-10 p.m. Residents with even numbered civic addresses may water on Tuesdays and Fridays between those same time periods.
Osborne said the town’s water capacity is finite, meaning there’s only so much at any given time regardless of how much it’s raining.
“During the summer months, the creek flows that supply our two treatment plants slow down, meaning it takes longer to fill the various reservoirs around Tofino with treated water. With higher demand in the summer, we also drain these reservoirs faster, so it’s pretty easy to understand that at some point, demand could outstrip supply if we are not mindful,” she said. “With longer periods of drought each summer, and climate change also influencing water supply, it’s becoming more important each summer to conserve water.”
She suggested conserving water helps save residents money and extends the life of the town’s reservoirs.
“A recent analysis of flows and anticipated effects of climate change has informed our short-term and medium-term planning for expanding Tofino’s water system, but the farther into the future we can push that out by conserving water and using it wisely each summer, the more affordable it will be for everyone,” she said. “Water is a precious resource.”
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