City of New Westminster takes measures to exceed current watering restrictions
New Westminster – As a result of unseasonably dry and hot weather conditions, the City of New Westminster is taking measures to not only meet, but exceed the Stage 2 watering restrictions outlined in the regional Water Shortage Response Plan. On July 3, 2015, Metro Vancouver further restricted water use by enacting the second stage of the four-stage plan that details necessary measures to deal with water shortages.
“The situation facing our region is significant, and the City of New Westminster takes water conservation very seriously,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté. “In addition to asking that residents adhere to the current restrictions, the City is working to reduce our water usage above and beyond what is required to ensure we are leading by example.”
The City of New Westminster has reduced the watering of municipal parks and ornamental lawns to once per week, and in some areas where watering is not detrimental in the short or long term watering no longer occurs. A further reduction of the City Hall lawn watering has been implemented to greater than 50% of the suggested watering levels to allow the grass to go dormant rather than die. Sports fields are being watered at minimal levels in order to maintain usable areas, and staff are monitoring each sport field closely and adjusting watering frequency when necessary. Spray parks are exempt during Stage 2; however, City staff has shut down specific features and reduced water flow in general. This additional step has curbed water consumption and still provides a place for community members to cool off during the hot weather. The washing of City vehicles has also been limited only to that which is required for operator and public safety, such as windows, lights and licence plates only.
During Stage 2, lawn-sprinkling is limited to once per week during the early morning hours. Special sprinkling permits are being issued for both new lawn and nematode applications, but are only valid for 14 days. The permitted sprinkling times during this 14 day period will follow the Stage 1 watering guidelines.
While residents are being asked to limit their water consumption, the City of New Westminster is also requesting the community’s assistance in watering street and boulevard trees, which is allowed during lawn sprinkling restrictions.
“Juvenile trees need adequate water during dry periods in order to survive and develop into healthy specimens,” said Parks Horticulture Manager Claude Ledoux. “Lack of water results in underdeveloped trees, and weakened trees become vulnerable to pests and diseases. We rely on homeowners to help care for these trees and protect this valuable asset.”
Young trees should be watered at least twice per week. A garden hose can be turned on low and placed at the base of the tree for approximately 10-15 minutes. Green tree watering bags can be found on many New Westminster trees. If there is a bag on a tree near a resident’s home, they are asked to fill it up twice a week. Watering bags are also available for purchase at many local garden centres.
For more information on current watering restriction and street tree watering, please visit www.newwestcity.ca. For enforcement inquiries regarding residential and commercial regulations, please contact Engineering Operations at 604.526.4691. For matters related to municipal parks, gardens, fields and spray parks, please contact Parks, Culture & Recreation at 604.527.4567.
Director of Engineering
City of New Westminster
firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-527-4589