Changing the mindset on water use

Kimberley’s per capita water use among highest in Canada

Kimberley is blessed with a reliable source of clean drinking water, a source that — even with climate change — will continue to provide the city with that most valuable resource.

But Kimberley is also home to some of the highest users of water in the country. It is home to a population that, per capita, uses far more water than most places in British Columbia, even Canada. Locally, Kimberley uses much more water than neighbouring communities such as Cranbrook.

Reliable source or not, the City of Kimberley wants to get the water conservation message out. Robert Panattoni has been hired for the summer to do just that.

What he wants to try to do is change the mindset about water use.

“People are complacent because they know we won’t run out,” he said.

But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

In addition to the fact that more water is used, the more wear and tear is put on the expensive infrastructure that brings the water to homes, you just don’t need to water as much, or for as long, as you think, he says.

“Fifteen to 20 minutes is long enough,” Panattoni said. “If you water longer than that it can be bad for your grass.

Watering should also be done in the evening or early morning when the sun isn’t as direct.

“The afternoon is the worst time to water, you lose a lot of it through evaporation and the water on the glass reflects the sun and can burn the grass.”

Panattoni will be offering assessments to interested homeowners this summer. He will come and do soil samples, look at root depth, amounts of shade, and then recommend a watering schedule once all the data has been entered into a computer program.

“We can program your timer for best practices,” he said. “The assessments are free. We won’t try to sell you anything. We will give you a free hose timer, or if you have an underground system, we’ll give you a free rain sensor.”

If you would like your lawn assessed, call Panattoni at 250-432-5294 or email waterconservation@kimberley.ca