Get ready for summer water restriction tap dance

North Cowichan says sprinkling restrictions won’t be in effect in Chemainus until June 1

Local government now has its hands officially on your taps.

Water restrictions are now in effect for the Town of Ladysmith, the Diamond Improvement District and the Stz’uminus First Nation, as well as Cowichan Valley Regional District-administered systems in Saltair and North Oyster.

Despite Vancouver Island-wide concern about lack of snowpack, the Holland Lake and Stocking Lake reservoirs are largely rain-fed and came through the winter full, or relatively full.

But with water conservation becoming more of a general public concern — something emphasized by last year’s summer drought — summer restrictions have become standard practice in most communities.

Under the restrictions announced this week, even-numbered addresses are allowed to sprinkle between 6 and 8 a.m. or between 8 and 10 p.m. on even-numbered days only. Odd-numbered addresses are limited to the same hours on odd-numbered days.

Ladysmith director of infrastructure services John Manson said the town and the regional district worked together this year on restrictions in order to be more consistent across the community.

Should water supply concerns mount, restrictions could climb to stage two (same hours, two days a week), or stage three (a complete sprinkling ban.)

Hand-watering is allowed under all three stages and exemptions are granted in certain circumstances, such as nurseries, playing fields and some commercial enterprises.

Check the ad in today’s paper, or visit your local government website for details. Watch the Chronicle for updates as the summer develops.

Meanwhile, Chemainus and Crofton residents are not covered by the above.

Stage one restrictions in North Cowichan come into effect on June 1.

Residents there are asked to limit sprinkling to between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 7 p.m.and 10 p.m., even-numbered houses on even days, odd-numbered houses on odd days.

Check for a more detailed breakdown.