Fur flies over proposed Comox Valley water restrictions

Fur flies over proposed Comox Valley water restrictions

The regional district wants to put you on Stage 2 water restrictions every July 1, whether they’re needed or not.

But hold on a minute. Courtenay Mayor and RD director Larry Jangula is dead against restricting residential water use, unless water levels drop low or we’re in a drought.

He was joined in his opposition at Tuesday’s regional board meeting by Comox director Ken Grant and Courtenay director Manno Theos.

The board had just heard a presentation from BC Hydro’s Stephen Watson saying water levels in the reservoir looked to be fine for the summer.

Area C director Edwin Grieve said, though, that it’s important to show to the provincial government that the Valley is concerned about water conservation.

“We are in a position right now where we are going to senior government for funding. This doesn’t send a good signal. I’m just warning everybody,” Grieve said.

Courtenay director Bob Wells agreed, saying putting in a Stage 2 restriction order on July 1 “shows we’re looking to conserve water as much as possible … not just filtering water for people to use needlessly.

“I think staff did a great job crafting a bylaw that isn’t designed to painfully restrict usage. Let’s get the grant money … and possibly revisit somewhere down the road,” he said.

But director Theos said the board would lose all credibility if restrictions were imposed when not needed.

“The reality is we need to be genuine. If we’re looking at fishing for money, we lose credibility. Restrictions have to be for the right reasons. The right way to go is by the year. Fishing for money is a fake way of doing business and I’m not for that,” Theos said.

Jangula said that at the last water committee meeting it was noted that residents used more water during Stage 2 restrictions than during Stage 1.

“People lose respect for us when we have overwhelming amounts of waters and then restrict. Flooding is our biggest concern in the City of Courtenay,” he added.

A weighted vote sent the proposed bylaw back to the water committee for further discussion. (The bylaw covers the Comox Valley water system operated by the regional district and doesn’t include Cumberland).

Stage 2 restrictions

During stage 2, a person may only use a sprinkler to water a lawn growing on a property with:

(i) an even numbered address, on Tuesday and Saturday between the hours of 6-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. They may not use a sprinkler to water the lawn on any other day or time; and

(ii) an odd numbered address, on Wednesday and Sunday; same hours, same conditions.

There will be no washing of sidewalks, driveways and parking lots except as necessary for applying a product such as paint, preservative and stucco (or as required by law to comply with health or safety regulations).

For a full list of conditions go to http://bit.ly/2r2P9XC