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Tofino asking for more water conservation as drought continues

Even with a little bit of rain providing some reprieve, the District of Tofino is still asking for vigilance as water levels remain low.

According to councillor Kat Thomas, the town hit Stage 3 water restrictions in July, which is quite early. Thomas says that as of last week, water levels were the lowest they had seen so far in 2023.

A little bit of rain yesterday and more in the forecast on Sunday should provide a small amount of reprieve, however, she says it will not be enough and more conservation is needed.

“With the entire province of B.C. being in record levels of drought this year and Vancouver Island in the highest level of level five, we’re definitely asking everybody to continue with their water conservation mindset,” said Thomas.

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“When you come, it might just be a little bit different. Hot tubs aren’t going to be filled, hotels might ask you not to take a long soaker or bath. Spend more time out in the ocean surfing.”

She adds restaurants may not be serving tap water as well in favour of bottled water. Other things can be done from a visitor standpoint as well, according to Thomas, to help alleviate pressure on the system.

“If you want to bring your reusable water bottles from home already filled, or if you’re camping maybe bring some four litre jugs of water,” said Thomas. “The same things we already do at home. Turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth, maybe just take a shorter shower.”

Thomas says more strides have been made recently to improve the infrastructure of the reservoirs and their efficiency.

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“Our staff and crews have been over on Meares Island installing some infrastructure and doing some technical things so that they could divert water that was performing a little bit better so the reservoirs that were underperforming and we’ve managed to refill the reservoirs quite a bit,” Thomas added.

Thomas adds they are thankful for how adaptable the community has been, and everyone’s collaborative work have allowed them to avoid declaring a state of local emergency.

“It’s been an incredible show of community effort,” she said.

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