City of Kimberley seeks input on new water shortage bylaw

Water Shortage Response bylaw will have four stages of restrictions and fines

Kimberley's new bylaw will have four stages of watering restrictions.

Kimberley's new bylaw will have four stages of watering restrictions.

Kimberley’s new Water Shortage Response bylaw is working its way through the process and has now received first and second readings at City Council. Prior to third reading and adoption, Council would like to hear any comment Kimberley residents may have.

The new bylaw is being brought in to respond to the low water situation this past summer, and the likelihood of low water levels occurring again.

This past summer was long, hot and dry and even now, fall rains have been sparse. That has resulted in still only 3 cm of water flowing over the Mark Creek Dam. At this time of year, most people have shut off their outside water so demands on the system are down as well, but Council wants to be prepared for next year with a bylaw that spells out levels of restrictions and penalties.

The first level of restriction is what most residents are used to now — even/odd watering days depending on address with watering to be done between 4 and 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. Hoses for washing cars or anything else must be equipped with automatic shut offs.

Stage 2 restrictions will require even numbered properties to water only on Wednesdays and Saturdays, same times; and odd numbers Thursdays and Sundays. City lawns, parks and boulevards will be watered once a week at Stage 2. Washing boats or motor vehicles, and pressure washing will not be permitted, nor will public fountains or water features be on.

In Stage 3, there will be no watering of lawns allowed. Watering of sports fields will be allowed only to the extent of keeping them in usable condition. Golf courses will only water greens and tee areas. You may still water flower and vegetable gardens.

Stepping up to level 4, there will be no watering of lawns or gardens, no watering of school yards or sports fields, no operation of automatic car washes, no filling or re-filling of any type of pool. These stage 4 restrictions apply to golf courses and cemeteries as well.

The City will make public announcements when entering any stage of restrictions.

Penalties will begin at $100. Second offences may gain you a fine of up to $500, and no less than $250. In stage 4 restrictions, a commercial operator will be fined no less than $1000 for not following the bylaw.

Residents who wish to provide feedback should write or contact City Hall this week.