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Editorial: Water restrictions: every drop in the bucket counts

It should be seen as only the smallest of sacrifices not to be able to wash your car or house
(Citizen file)

With no end in sight to the drought that has gripped the Cowichan Valley since mid-June, it’s important that we all do our part to conserve our increasingly scarce water resources.

Water restrictions in the Cowichan Valley Regional District have reached Level 3, and we would not be surprised to see them hit Level 4 before the fall rains come. We must all keep in mind that sometimes that is not until well into October. With as dry as it is now, envision how dry it will be without significant rainfall for another month or even two more. It’s not a pretty picture.

So it should be seen as only the smallest of sacrifices not to be able to wash your car or house, or fill your swimming pool, let along power wash the driveway or fence. We cannot afford to send all that water down the drain right now.

And while people are allowed to hand water trees, shrubs and gardens during limited hours for limited time periods (or using drip irrigation or weeper hoses at any time of the day, for a limited period) it’s not too much of a surprise that the Citizen has started hearing from people concerned about some in the Valley who seem to be ignoring those rules.

To those who may be operating outside of the parameters set by the CVRD, including businesses and institutions, we urge you to join the water saving effort with the rest of us.

If you have too large an area to cover or too little time to hand water, it’s not too late to invest in some drip irrigation or weeper hoses. Chances are very good that you’ll need them again in the years to come anyway, so look at it as an investment in the future. Kind of like that air conditioner you probably bought during the heat wave. Also consider using your grey water to help your watering efforts — so wash your dishes in a pan and take the water outdoors for your flowers, veggies or trees. Your plants won’t care that it’s dirty.

Another thing you should consider if you have any large trees on your property is to set aside some of your watering time, or a few buckets of grey water, to give them a little love. While in a normal summer we don’t usually worry about large trees with well developed root systems, in this kind of drought we need to, or we will be losing a lot of beautiful, mature trees. Trees that are hurting are turning brown, with drooping, withering leaves or needles.

Getting us all through this is the goal.