Dry conditions have prompted the Provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to declare a Level 3 drought for the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.
The announcement, made on Friday morning, includes a call for voluntary water-use reduction for all surface and groundwater uses in the area. Islanders are asked to conserve water wherever they can, and to keep an eye on changing conditions.
The recommendations from the ministry for residents include limiting outdoor watering, taking shorter showers and not leaving the tap running. Farmers are asked to consider focusing on high-value crops and scheduling irrigation to match crop needs and soil storage capacity. Businesses should reduce non-essential water use and recycle water as much as possible.
Local bylaws reflect the conditions in the area, and people are encouraged to follow the rules that have been set out locally. The North Salt Spring Waterworks District is at conservation Level 2, and has been since May 1.