Increased Watering Restrictions

By August 21, 2020September 2nd, 2020No Comments

Merritt — August 21, 2020  The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has notified the City of Merritt that in spite of recent rain, drought conditions in the Nicola region are worsening.  The Nicola Basin and the Coldwater Basin are currently at Drought Level 3 (Very Dry).  It is anticipated that conditions will continue to worsen, especially for the Coldwater River, and further watering restrictions are necessary to protect fish populations.

Commencing Monday, August 24, 2020, the City of Merritt residents will be limited to watering a maximum of 1 day per week. Residents with even-numbered addresses are permitted to water on Friday and residents with odd-numbered addresses are permitted to water on Tuesday.  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.  We encourage residents with automatic irrigation systems to water lawns between 12:00 midnight and 4:00 A.M.

“We had an incredibly wet June, so we thought we may avoid drought this year, but there has been very little precipitation in July and August, which puts pressure on the Coldwater river in particular,” said Mayor Linda Brown.

“We recognize that scaling back watering can be frustrating and inconvenient, but we want residents to know that their effort makes a difference,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Sean Smith. “This isn’t a question of not having sufficient water; our aquifer levels are high and there is plenty of water to support the current rate of use.  However, the Coldwater River is connected to the aquifer from which we draw most of our water, so as we collectively reduce our water consumption and slow the rate of draw, we support a higher water level in the Coldwater River.”

Effective immediately, the City is implementing the following measures:

  • Shutting down all City Park irrigation, excluding the Rotary Spray Park
  • Postponing the City Street Sweeping Program until October 1, 2020
  • Not washing City pickups and equipment except for Residential & Commercial Garbage Trucks
  • Increasing the use of the Kengard well to avoid overdrawing from the Coldwater river
  • Minimizing the use of the Voght Park well pumps and utilizing the Fairley Park and Collettville pumps as primaries. 
  • Hand watering will continue for City hanging baskets

“We thank you for following these additional water restrictions and for doing your part to mitigate the effects of drought in our region,” commented Mayor Brown.

For more information about regional and provincial drought levels, visit the below resources.

For More Information Contact:

Sean Smith
Chief Administrative Officer
City of Merritt
Phone: (250) 378-8613

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