By using our drinking water wisely, we can save it for drinking and fire protection
Summer temperatures are high, and it is important to use Whistler’s drinking water wisely. Although it is hard to imagine with all of Whistler’s snow and rain, the drinking water supply is finite. Water demand is highest in the summer months, at the same time that fire risk is high.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) would like to remind everyone to check the weekly Water Conservation Stages and reduce drinking water use overall. The RMOW is also rolling out several initiatives to better manage the water supply.
“Thank you to everyone for showing your love for Whistler’s water this summer by finding ways to use less,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “Our water flows from the mountains to your tap, and it is great for drinking. Let’s work together to be careful about how we use it when watering and washing vehicles so we can save it for the things we need it for most – drinking and fire protection.”
Water Conservation Stages
This year, Whistler moved to a NEW system for managing water conservation.
The Water Conservation Stages are evaluated each week depending on water supply, reservoir levels, fire danger rating and the weather forecast. This change to Whistler’s Outdoor Potable Water Use Bylaw allows for more flexible irrigation timelines while also keeping the reservoir full in case of fire.
The new system is more flexible and requires everyone to work together to adapt on a weekly basis.
The RMOW irrigated areas must also follow the Water Conservation Stages where municipal drinking water is being used. Some parks, fields and the three golf courses have their own non-drinking water supply. Please note that the Water Conservation Stages do not apply to Emerald Estates, which is not on the 21 Mile Creek supply system.
Remember: Run your taps! Even though it is important to save water, remember to run taps until the water comes out cold before drinking. This makes sure the water you are drinking is the same quality as the water that is delivered to your home.
Check the Water Conservation Stages at whistler.ca/savewater
Other Initiatives to Save Water
The RMOW is working to keep finding ways for our community to use less water. Because building more infrastructure to increase our water supply and storage would be very expensive, the RMOW is working with the community and businesses to find ways to better manage our supply.
Initiatives being rolled out are:
- Phasing out Once Through Cooling (OTC) systems that use drinking water to cool equipment like industrial air conditioners, refrigerators and ice machines. Once used, the drinking water is sent to the wastewater treatment plant, which means it is being treated twice.
- Evaluating the potential of water metering to better monitor and equitably charge for water use.
- Implementing the 21 Mile Creek Source Protection Plan to keep our glacial watershed clean.
- Implementing a Cross Connection Control Program to preventing backflow contamination.
- Ongoing investment in water system infrastructure by upgrading the Emerald Water System, decommissioning unused wells and upgrade the 21 Mile Aquifer Supply Well Station.
- Maximizing the use of non-drinking water supply for municipal irrigation systems.
Work is informed by the Comprehensive Water Conservation and Supply Plan, updated in 2015. Whistler’s water system is funded through the Water Utility Fund.
Saving water is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s work together to use less!