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CVRD water restrictions unchanged, despite drought conditions

COURTENAY, B.C- Water restrictions won’t be changing in the Comox Valley.

The province recently said that recent precipitation has been insufficient to halt the downward trend on all of the East Vancouver Island streams.

As a result, the East Vancouver Island drought rating was set to Level 4, and that means maximum water conservation is encouraged.

At the time of the announcement, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) was sitting at Stage 2 water restrictions.

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Under those rules, watering days are Tuesdays and Saturdays for even-numbered addresses, and Wednesdays and Sundays for odd-numbered addresses during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., and between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Sprinklers are not permitted for lawn or garden watering on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The restrictions apply to the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, and the Sandwick, Arden, Comox Valley, England Road, Marsden/Camco and Greaves Crescent water local service areas.

The drought announcement does not change the level, due to the CVRD water system drawing from the Puntledge River, which is fed by Comox Lake and controlled by BC Hydro.

“Due to a healthy snowpack from last winter, the Puntledge River is not threatened in the same way that the uncontrolled rivers and streams are,” said Charlie Gore, the CVRD’s capital project manager for water and wastewater.

BC Hydro has to maintain fish flows on the river during the summer, and any changes the CVRD makes are tied to those levels.

“If BC Hydro has to significantly reduce flows on the Puntledge River further, then we will move to a higher level of watering restrictions,” said Gore.

“At this stage, we have no indication that there are any reductions in the coming months.”

The CVRD is working with the province and BC Hydro to keep an eye on water levels “very closely” and Gore had advice for those outside the CVRD system.

“We really encourage any residents that are drawing from other streams and rivers, through wells, or through their water systems, to conserve water as much as possible,” said Gore.

“The impact to fish on those streams and rivers is huge.”

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