Stage 1 water restrictions are in effect throughout Squamish as of May 1, meaning residents have to keep an eye on how often they water their lawns.
Under the regulations, watering with a sprinkler is allowed two days per week between 4 and 10 a.m., and 7 and 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday for even numbered addresses, and Thursday and Sunday for odd numbered addresses.
Water consumption within town has increased by an average of 72%, according to District figures. Much of that increase is attributed to an increase in outdoor sprinkler usage.
"Squamish may see considerable amounts of rainfall, however despite all of that it’s important to know that our fresh water is not an unlimited resource," said Mayor Karen Elliott in a news release.
"Conserving water is an every day, year-round habit that we can and should embrace. Simple actions like turning the water off while brushing your teeth, waiting to run the dishwasher until it's fully loaded, or watering your garden and lawn very early or late in the day can make a big difference in your daily water consumption."
The municipality says its water plan states the District's current drinking water distribution system as having sufficient capacity to meet the growing community’s needs for the next 10 years — if water is used wisely.
The District says there are several things people can do to help conserve water:
— Water deeply, but less frequently: An established lawn needs only 2.5 cm of water per week.
— How much is enough? Place an upside-down Frisbee on your lawn when watering. Stop watering when the Frisbee is full.
— Let your lawn go brown and dormant in the summer months: Try watering just once a month in July and August. A healthy lawn will green up again as rainfall resumes in the fall.
— Adjust sprinkler heads to water greenery, not the driveway or sidewalk.
— Invest in a timer and set it to your allowed watering days and times. Be sure to adjust it when water restriction stages change.
— Invest in a rain sensor for your in-ground irrigation system. If it rains, the irrigation will automatically turn off.
— Make every drop count. Watering early or late in the day reduces evaporation.
— Build your soil with compost and mulch, and choose low water use plants.
The municipality says its water conservation plan aims to reduce water consumption per capita by 15% by 2031, which can be achieved if residents take small steps to reduce their daily consumption.
For more tips on how to reduce your water use, visit squamish.ca/water-conservation.
To view the Outdoor Water Use Chart visit squamish.ca/assets/water/50d419c861/Outdoor-Water-Use-Chart.pdf.