Every Drop Counts. British Columbia is experiencing severe drought levels and unprecedented conditions around the province, including in Sicamous.
Drought is a shortage of water caused by reduced precipitation and rain, during an extended period of time. Droughts lead to reduced water availability. People, organizations and businesses across sectors are being asked to reduce water usage as much as possible.
Current drought levels
In B.C., drought levels are measured on a 0 to 5 scale. Drought level 5 is the highest level. It means adverse impacts on both communities and ecosystems are almost certain. As of August 3, 2023 most of B.C.’s water basins are at Drought Level 4 or 5.
Visit the provincial Drought Information Portal to check to see drought levels in Sicamous.
Water conservation is important in the District of Sicamous. To better manage water demand and ensure sufficient supply, the District of Sicamous has implemented a multi-stage restriction strategy for outdoor water use.
What can you do to conserve water?
Lawn and Garden
- Collect rainwater for watering outdoor plants
- Plant drought tolerant plants and xeriscape
- Use a rain gauge to water only 1" per week
- Water only during the cooler parts of the day
- Upgrade to automatic sprinkler systems
- Add a rain sensor to automatic irrigation systems
- Use a non-oscillating sprinkler that uses large water drops
- Leave an empty tuna can on your lawn and turn off your sprinkler when the can is full
- Use a rain barrel to catch rainwater to use on your lawn and garden
- Let your grass grow longer to shade the roots to hold water better
Kitchen and Laundry
- Only run the dishwasher or do laundry when full
- Use fewer dishes and re-wear clothes
- Scrape extra food off plate instead of rinsing
- When hand washing dishes, do not let the water run continuously
- Keep a jug of water in the fridge for drinking, reducing the need to run the tap until it's cold for each glass of water
- Wash fruits and veggies in a bowl instead of under running water
- Reuse water from food preparation in your garden, where suitable (washing veggies, pasta water, etc.)
- Upgrade to a low flow faucet
- When replacing appliances, choose low-flow, high efficiency options
- Turn off tap while brushing teeth or washing hands
- Set a timer for your shower
- Upgrade to a low flow toilet
- Upgrade to low flow showerheads and faucets
- Do not use your toilet as a waste basket
- Cover your pool to reduce evaporation
- Keep the pool clean to reduce the need to refill
- Use community resources such as the lake and spray parks
- Check for and repair leaks (toilets, sinks, piping, outdoor faucets)
- Do not wash your driveway, sweep instead
- Install a greywater system
- Use 'eco' or 'water efficient' settings on appliances
- Sweep or use a bucket of warm water and a soft scrubber to clean patio and driveway instead of a pressure washer
Frequent watering promotes shallow root growth that, in turn, requires more frequent watering. Your lawn can become "addicted" to water. The more frequently you water it, the more water it requires. Lawns require only 15 mm (1/2 inch) every two to three days. You can measure this with an empty can or pie plate. This can greatly reduce the amount of water used.
Determining Water leaks
Using your water meter, you can perform a simple leak check with the following steps:
- Ensure water is turned off inside and outside the home. This test must be performed when no automatic water equipment is used, such as irrigation controllers, washing machines, dishwashers, etc.
- Record the reading of the water meter and wait 15 minutes.
- Record the reading of the meter again. If the meter has recorded water use during the test, it might be due to a leak. Verify that the water use is not due to small appliances such as water filters, softeners, or whole house humidifiers.