As Metro Vancouver implements stage three water restrictions it will be up to you, not Mother Nature, to decide if we will see stage four.
City of North Vancouver mayor Darrell Mussatto and chair of the Metro Vancouver utilities commission says they have changed the modelling on water use.
Its’ simple, stop watering your lawns
Mussatto says if people abide by stage three water restrictions we’ll be fine, but if water use continues unabated then we could see stage four.
“I am a pretty optimistic guy and I think a majority of people will obey the regulations, they will conform and you will see our water usage drop. I don’t think there is a high chance at this point [of moving to stage four] if everyone does their part and stops watering their lawn, stops washing their car, and conserves water in their home. We should make it all the way to the end of October without further restrictions.”
He says enforcement will be stepped up.
Mussatto says while it will vary from municipality to municipality generally they will first educate, and then fine, rule breakers.
“Municipalities are stepping up enforcement and we are asking that if people do see others watering, that they give municipalities a call. We take note and we go and talk with them. Most of the time it is because people are doing it out of ignoranc,e they didn’t know they shouldn’t be watering. Maybe they don’t listen to the radio, they don’t watch TV, or read the newspaper, they just go ahead and water.”
Fines upwards of $500
“Some are going to be more strict than others. In our municipality they get a warning first. They get a letter, then they get ticketed. The fines range from $70 all the way up to $500. We have graduated fines. It depends on municipalities, but definitely fines are going to be part of the solution.”
Mussatto is also encouraging people who spot people or businesses who break the water rules to report them to their municipality so steps can be taken.
Brown is the new green
The City of Vancouver is also stepping up enforcement.
So far, 1400 warnings have been given, and some thirty fines of $250 have been handed out to water rule-breakers.
The city’s Jerry Dobrovolny says residents need to realize brown is the new green. And he has no sympathy for people breaking the rules.
The city is also doing its part: gardens at Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth will only be watered by hand, and the city fleet vehicles and even cop cars will stay dirty.