In consultation with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the City of Merritt is further increasing watering restrictions. The Coldwater Basin is the driest area in BC and sits at Drought Level 4 (Extremely Dry). The Ministry has expressed serious concern for the survival of all fish in the Coldwater River should conditions persist or worsen and has requested that the City implement every reasonable measure to reduce water usage.
Commencing immediately, the City of Merritt is implementing further water restrictions, which limits residents to watering on 1 day per week. Residents with odd-numbered addresses are permitted to water on Tuesday, and residents with even-numbered addresses are permitted to water on Friday. Watering is not allowed on any other day of the week. These restrictions will continue until further notice.
No changes are being made to the hours in which residents are permitted to water. On the appropriate day, based on civic address, watering is permitted between 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 A.M. as well as 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. Residents with automatic irrigation systems may water lawns between 12:00 midnight and 4:00 A.M. Hand watering with a controlled flow nozzle remains allowed at any time.
The City understands that watering 1 day per week is insufficient to maintain a healthy lawn. As such, the City strongly encourages all residents to allow their lawns to go dormant by ceasing the watering of lawns entirely. Accordingly, the City has stopped watering grass at City parks and facilities. We will continue to water flowers, and for the immediate term, we will keep the Rotary Spray Park open.
Mayor Linda Brown said: "We know this is an inconvenience for residents, but the water situation around Merritt is dire. As a City, we have stopped all use of water in most City parks. The Rotary Spray Park remains open as we understand the importance of this resource for families, especially given the heat, but we will continue to balance the community benefit of this resource against the environmental impact."
"We live in a dry area, and I'm humbly asking residents to play their part in reducing the stress we're placing on our environment. We also ask industry and businesses to make every effort to minimize water usage."
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