City taps into water savings

Two Penticton fountains are being shut down due to the drought conditions.

Pentictonites are asking why a fountain next to the Penticton Library continued to operate

Pentictonites are asking why a fountain next to the Penticton Library continued to operate

Two Penticton fountains are being shut down due to the drought conditions.

Although they are recycling existing water, the fountains at the library and at Nanaimo Square will be turned off in light of the current drought rating, according to Simone Blais, the city’s communications officer.

The move by the city comes after residents started noticing the fountains were still running last week. Since early August, the Okanagan has been in level 4 drought conditions, and the city has been campaigning for residents to reduce their water usage by 30 per cent since July.

Jakubeit said council hasn’t sat down as a group to discuss what the city can do to conserve water.

“We are still going through this process and I am sure going through this summer, we will look at some policies on what we do with our parks, watering and use of water,” said Jakubeit. “What else can we do to set examples or give better options for the community in reducing water and being more conservative with our water?”

If voluntary reduction targets are not met, elevated restrictions may be required.

“When our area reached Level 3 Drought Conditions, we began asking people to reduce water consumption by 30 per cent for domestic and irrigation uses,” said Blais. “The Water Treatment Plant has been monitoring water usage closely before and after the increased awareness efforts. They have seen an average 13 per cent reduction in water usage in total – not even half the level requested.”

Enforcement will include a first notice to a given resident that they are not complying with Stage 1 water restrictions. If they do not change their water behaviour, fines will be implemented. Fines range from $25 for the first offence, $50 for the second offence, and $500 for occurring offences.