Local water restrictions are taking effect earlier than in previous years and will last longer to try and cope with the warm weather.
Metro Vancouver stage 1 restrictions begin May 15 in both Langleys. In the past they started a couple of weeks later.
All municipal water users are under the restrictions.
“We have been experiencing longer, hotter seasons and everyone needs to make a commitment at home to ensure our water levels are respected,” said Erin Pawlikowski, coordinator of the Township Water Wise Program, which is conducted by the Langley Environmental Partners Society.
Lawn sprinkling is only allowed from 4 to 9 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for homes with even numbered addresses, and from 4 to 9 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays for odd numbered addresses.
Water supplies are not limitless, Pawlikowski said.
“That’s why people need to let their lawns go golden and focus on draught-resistant landscaping. We need to think about what’s important, and little efforts make a big difference if everybody does them.”
Non-residential properties with even numbered addresses can sprinkle lawns Mondays and Wednesdays 1 to 6 a.m., with odd numbered addresses permitted Tuesdays and Thursdays 1 to 6 a.m. Non-residential addresses can sprinkle lawns Fridays 4 to 9 a.m.?????
Those on private wells are not bound by the restrictions, but the Township asks them to conserve water as well.
“During the warm season, our water usage increases by 50 per cent, which puts a strain on the environment and our limited water resources,” said Township environmental coordinator Meaghan Norton Daniel.
She noted that some parts of the Township rely solely on groundwater drawn from local aquifers. If too much water is extracted in these areas, there is the potential for a water shortage. Other areas serviced by the Township’s municipal water system receive a mix of groundwater and water from Metro Vancouver reservoirs, which rely on snowfall and rain to replenish them each year.
Township fire crews reported several fires over the last week of April and into early May.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the norm, but I wouldn’t say it’s unusual,” said assistant chief Bruce Ferguson.
Last year was highly unusual, with an extremely dry spring and summer that led to dozens of brush fires over several months. Fire crews were busy.
He said that the number-one culprit in brush fires remains discarded cigarettes.