May 31, 2016: Whistler, B.C. – The Resort Municipality of Whistler has introduced Level Two sprinkling restrictions for all commercial and residential properties, effective June 1 through September 30.
The decision to move directly to Level Two restrictions is based on the unseasonably warm spring, which resulted in early snow melt, as well as direction from the Provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The sprinkling restrictions ensure an adequate supply of fresh water to meet the Whistler’s daily needs, protect natural aquatic habitats, and prepare the community for a wildfire emergency.
“Many people in Whistler are very water wise, and this year more than ever, we will all need to conserve water both indoors, and outside” said Mayor Wilhelm-Morden. “The best way to avoid wasting water is to learn how to irrigate effectively. This may come as a surprise, but more plants are stressed or killed by over-watering than by living in dry conditions.”
Last summer, Whistler faced significant drought conditions and this summer, Whistler is expected to be warmer and drier than in past years. The RMOW is looking for support from everyone in the community to find creative ways to save water. Across North America, many regions are experiencing drought conditions and are working together to become more efficient.
Mayor Wilhelm-Morden is committed to achieving the targets identified in British Columbia’s Water Plan, which specifies a range of goals, including fifty percent of new municipal water to be acquired through conservation by 2020. “Small changes to daily habits make a big difference, and by working together, we can achieve our water conservation goals.”
At this time of year, when sprinklers and irrigation systems are turned on, there are a number of actions residents and property owners can take to conserve water, and help their lawns and gardens stay healthy:
- Grass only needs about one inch of water per week. Avoid flooding areas, and make sure the water is going on the lawn, not the driveway or street.
- Every spring, have your irrigation system checked for leaks and broken or clogged sprinkling heads.
- Water early in the day when lawns are normally wet from dew. Early or late in the day reduces evaporation, allowing more water to reach the root zone.
- As weather conditions change, shut off the sprinklers until the grass shows signs of needing water.
The RMOW would like to acknowledge the innovative water conservation leadership within the community, including property managers and irrigation companies. Whistler has a Water Use Bylaw with sprinkling restrictions to encourage the wise use of water. The bylaw is being updated in consultation with various stakeholders and is expected to be presented to Council for adoption by spring 2017. At this time, all even numbered addresses can water on Thursdays from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. All odd numbered addresses or residents with no civic address can sprinkle on Wednesdays during the same hours.
The RMOW is responsible for sprinkling on municipal property, however, many areas in Whistler are the responsibility of hotels, strata property managers, or commercial development companies. To help build a community approach to the shared responsibility for water conservation, the RMOW encourages all residents and businesses to visit www.whistler.ca/savewater to learn more.
About conserving Whistler water
Through the Whistler 2020 process, a community goal was set to reduce water consumption to 425 litres per capita per day. In 2015 the consumption was measured at 518 litres per capita per day (based on the calculated population equivalent for Whistler). In order to meet this sustainability goal, significant water conservation programs will be required.
About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is Whistler’s local government led by an elected council and administered by an executive team and staff on behalf of 9,824 residents and two million annual visitors. The RMOW manages municipal planning and development, park and Village operations, sports facilities and recreation, public utilities and environmental services, bylaws and enforcement, fire rescue, fiscal planning and financial services, legislative services, human resources, communications and the administration of the Whistler2020 Comprehensive Sustainability Plan and Whistler’s Official Community Plan. The RMOW collaborates with in-resort and external partners to create visitor experiences and enrich community life.
Whistler’s vision is to be the premier mountain resort community as it moves toward sustainability. Whistler was the proud Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Resort Municipality of Whistler Communications