Posted: Sep 14, 2023 | By: Communications
Water Restrictions Reduce to Stage 2
Posted: Sep 14, 2023 | By: Communications
Effective September 14, 2023
Community Conservation & Innovation Outlasts Drought
The District of Tofino would like to acknowledge and thank all members of the public for their sustained water conservation efforts during this year's historic and challenging drought. Over the course of the summer, the community achieved significant reductions in water use, responding positively to District Water Conservation measures in creative and innovative ways. Residents, businesses and visitors persevered collectively to reduce more than 20% of peak daily water use and sustained those levels from mid-July to September, despite receiving 75% less rainfall than an average summer.
In early September, after over 4 months of drought, water reservoir levels reached historic lows. Supply creeks slowed to record lows, community water demand exceeded supply, and without rain in the forecast, the trigger points for Stage 4 Water Restrictions were met. District of Tofino staff prepared for an escalation to Stage 4 Water Restrictions, holding an Emergency Executive Program Committee meeting, urgent meetings with Tourism Tofino the Tofino Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, and issuing escalated communication to businesses, residents and visitors.
In a final attempt to avoid Stage 4, Tofino's Infrastructure and Public Works crews engineered a bypass valve concept to divert higher performing creek flows to diminishing reservoirs. Crews worked through the long weekend in order to install and test the prototype, which began producing results quickly. Crews continued to monitor and optimize the new piece of additional infrastructure throughout the week, as reservoirs began to replenish. This fix in combination with renewed conservation efforts, additional rainfall, and a decrease in community consumption de-escalated the water situation to a point where Stage 4 trigger points were no longer imminent. A more detailed update is available to watch on the District’s Youtube channel in a verbal report from the Director of Infrastructure and Public Works from the Regular Council Meeting on September 12, 2023. Due to these factors, Water Conservation has been decreased to Stage 2, as rains are expected to continue.
Moving into the Fall season, District Staff and Council continue to keep Tofino's water situation top of mind by taking action. A new water conservation roundtable comprised of representatives from business and resident sectors is being established by the District of Tofino’s Chief Administrative Officer. The purpose of the roundtable will be to provide recommendations to Council on water-related matters to inform amendments to the water conservation bylaw. At the September 12 Regular Council Meeting, Councillor Sarah Sloman announced her intention to introduce a notice of motion to Council regarding the incentivization of the use of rainwater and recycled water in buildings. Tofino's Water Master Plan continues to progress with regular updates to District Staff and will be presented to the pubic in December 2023. Ideas and public feedback remains active on The District's Talk Tofino page at talktofino.ca/water-conservation
The District of Tofino would like to extend gratitude to the Public Works crews' innovation and hard work over the long weekend to install this critical piece of infrastructure which was a key factor in avoiding Stage 4 Water Restrictions during this year's historic drought. Tofino has once again demonstrated their perseverance, creativity and resilience in the face of challenging times. Thank you for all your conservation efforts.
For feedback and more water related information, please visit talktofino.ca/water-conservation
During Stage 2:
Outdoor watering of lawns, gardens, trees and landscaped areas is prohibited except for the watering of food plants by hand-held hose with an automatic shut-off mechanism or hand-held canister as follows:
Odd numbered civic addresses may water on Monday and Thursday between the hours of 6 AM to 9 AM and 7 PM and 10 PM; and
Even numbered civic addresses may water on Tuesday and Friday between the hours of 6 AM and 9 AM and 7 PM and 10 PM
All other outdoor use of water is prohibited except to the minimum extent to remove salt water and provide basic hygienic cleaning.
For clarity, filling or refilling of hot tubs is prohibited.
Manager of Legislative Services
District of Tofino
(T) 250 725 3229
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