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A new phased approach to water restrictions in Revelstoke

The amendment to the bylaw amendment was heard at city council
he purpose of the restrictions is to manage water demand within the city. (Black Press Media file photo)

Revelstoke City Council gave first and second reading to a bylaw amendment to manage water use in the face of climate change.

In their report to council on May 28, Engineer in Training Emily Lindsay and Director of Engineering and Public Works Steve Black recommended a new phased approach to water restrictions.

The purpose of the restrictions is to manage water demand within the city, ensure there is sufficient water supply for potable water and firefighting demands, and encourage responsible water use and conservation, noted the report.

Due to the drought in 2023, the Stage 2 water restrictions moved from “business as usual” to a complete restriction of sprinkling and irrigation. To improve community preparedness in the face of potential re-occuring drought conditions during the summer, staff reviewed water restrictions in nine municipalities and one regional district. The result is Revelstoke’s new four-stage Water Usage Restrictions table.

The staged approach is intended to allow greater flexibility for water usage and clearly outline what is permitted at each stage of restrictions.

To encourage a reduction in water usage, the proposed bylaw amendment would change the city’s Stage 1 or “normal” water usage restriction to three days per week. Odd-numbered addresses would be permitted to water between 6 and 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and even-numbered addresses would be permitted to water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Monday would be reserved for supply and distribution operations only.

This structure also provides a simpler way to move to additional water restrictions as determined by the Director of Engineering and Public Works.

Staff recommended the council give three readings to the bylaw amendment but Coun. Tim Palmer asked that only first and second reading be given in order to make residents aware of the changes to the bylaw before council gives its approval. Council gave unanimous support to first and second reading.

“Any attempt to restrict water consumption in the face of climate change and anticipated drought conditions, is being both proactive and responsible,” said Chief Administrative Officer Evan Parliament.

READ MORE: Revelstoke’s Evan Parliament joins association of municipal administrators