Cranbrook, BC  – New outdoor water use regulations are now in effect in Cranbrook, after Council adopted the new Outdoor Water Use and Regulation bylaw Monday night.

The most significant changes to outdoor water use going forward limits watering hours to a maximum of two hours between 5am and 10am OR 8pm and 11pm on your permitted watering days, during Stage 1 and Stage 2 watering restrictions. Under Stage 3 watering restrictions, you are allowed a maximum of one hour between 6am and 8am OR 8pm and 10pm.

Under Stage 4 restrictions all use of water outdoors ends, including the ability for water bottling facilities, hydroponic facilities, and car washes to operate, along with concrete and asphalt plants. Golf courses will be able to irrigate as necessary, as they are not connected to the City’s water system.

The City of Cranbrook is currently under Stage 2 watering restrictions.

Those with vegetable gardens or those who have edible plants are still allowed to water any day of the week, under the new bylaw.

“I think the challenges we faced as a community last summer created an appreciation about how important our water, and the conservation of our water really is,” says Mayor Wayne Price. “Whether or not last summer was an anomaly, I believe people are now understanding and much more willing to accept these types of water conservation measures.”

Watering days remain on the same schedule. Even numbered properties can water Monday, Thursday, and Saturday while odd numbered properties can water Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Nobody waters on Wednesday.

By limiting outdoor watering to only two hours per day on your specific watering day, we can significantly reduce the amount of water we use throughout the community, focusing on conserving our water.

After the challenging conditions experienced in 2023 at the Phillips Reservoir, and the implementation of Stage 3 restrictions, the City learned much about how to improve, adapt and further protect the City’s vital water supply. The feedback received from the community about outdoor water use guided the changes adopted with this new bylaw.

“We will continue to keep a close eye on the Phillips Reservoir and the tributaries feeding into the reservoir over the course of the year, to make sure we have the water levels we need,” says Jason Perrault, Deputy Director of Public Works. “We will also be working to promote the importance of water conservation initiatives through 2024 and continue our Water Ambassador program to help provide important education and support the monitoring of outdoor water use through the summer.”

The City’s water conservation rebate program for either rain barrels or programmable above-ground sprinkler timers is also open and accepting applications. Program details and applications can be found on the City’s website at https://cranbrook.ca/residents/water-conservation/rain-barrel-rebate-program/.

You can also stay updated on the current watering restriction stage anytime by visiting the City’s website at https://cranbrook.ca/residents/water-conservation/outdoor-water-management/.

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