More stringent water restrictions are unnecessary in West Kelowna because the city’s reservoirs are in good shape, council will hear today.
An unprecedented situation developed in July when water levels in the municipal reservoirs actually rose throughout the month. Slightly above normal rainfall helped replenish the supply, and also diminished the use of water for irrigation purposes across the community.
“Never before have we seen (reservoir water levels) actually climb back up,” once the summer begins, Allen Fillion, general manager of engineering, writes in a report to council.
“Given the significant impact of the rainfall over the month of July, there is no need to advance to Stage 2 watering restrictions,” Fillion said.
Snowpack levels were below normal in March and April throughout the Okanagan, and there was some concern about what that would mean for water supplies. The snowmelt also took place earlier and quicker than normal.
By late June, the water level in West Kelowna’s reservoirs was actually below what is typically seen for that time of year.
But the Central Okanagan received 42 millimetres of rain in July, compared to the 37 mm that normally falls in that month. In July 2017, there was no rain, and in July 2018 there was just nine mm of rain.
Currently, West Kelowna is at stage one water restrictions, which means owners of property with even number street addresses can only water on even numbered days, and vice versa for odd-numbered properties.
Stage 2 restrictions would limit watering of even-numbered properties to just Saturdays and Tuesday, and even-numbered watering on only Sundays and Wednesdays.
The highest level of restriction, stage four, prohibits all outdoor watering.