Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands in Level 3 drought condition

The warm, dry weather is expected to continue in the coming weeks, and the Province is asking residents to take action to conserve water.

Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are now in a Level 3 drought condition, meaning residents, industries, farmers and municipalities are asked to voluntarily reduce their water use.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development  says while some streams still have strong flows, others, many of which are critical habitats for juvenile trout and salmon, are not.  Environmental conditions are being monitored, in case specific measures needs to be taken to protect salmon in streams.

The Ministry says if voluntary reductions don't have a sufficient impact, and water flows drop below critical levels, then the province may have to regulate water under the Water Sustainability Act.

Local water conservation bylaws may differ from provincial water conservation targets due to local supply and demand, and residents are asked to observe local water conservation bylaws where they exist, and be prepared to deal with water supply shortages.

The Ministry offers some tips for conserving water. 

At home:
* Limit outdoor watering.
* Do not water during the heat of the day or when it is windy.
* Consider planting drought-tolerant vegetation.
* Take shorter showers.
* Do not leave the tap running.
* Install water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets.

On the farm:
* Implement an irrigation scheduling program using real-time weather data.
* Schedule irrigation to match crop needs and soil storage capacity.
* Improve water-system efficiencies and check for leaks.
* Focus on high-value crops and livestock.

In industry:
* Reduce non-essential water use.
* Recycle water used in industrial operations.
* Use water-efficient methods and equipment.

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