Tofitian gardeners rejoiced on Saturday as enough rain had fallen over the past week to ease the town’s water restrictions.
“With the recent rainfall now in the District’s water system and more rain forecasted, we are pleased to advise that Tofino is now in Stage 1 water restrictions,” read a Sept. 4 announcement from Tofino’s district office. “Thank you to everyone for supporting the water restrictions that were in place this summer.”
The district had announced Stage 3 restrictions on Aug. 21, prohibiting all outdoor water use.
With those restrictions now dropped back to Stage 1, the watering of lawns, gardens and landscaped areas can begin again, though is restricted to hand-held hoses, canisters, a sprinkler or drip irrigation system,
Residents with odd-numbered civic addresses may only water on Mondays and Thursdays between 6-9 and 7-10:00 p.m. while residents with even-numbered civic addresses may water on Tuesdays and Fridays between 6-9 a.m. and 7-10 p.m.
Tofino mayor Dan Law told the Westerly News he was happy to finally see rain again after a notably dry summer.
“To be clear, the move to Stage 3 was out of an abundance of caution so that Tofino had enough reserve water, no matter what happened, for a major structure fire,” he said.
He added that while the restrictions have been lowered, the community must continue to keep a close eye on water-use, adding that local businesses have had “great conversations” over the summer.
“They’re all working together to find new ways of conserving water into the future,” he said. “Going forward, Tofino businesses, residents and visitors are all going to have to think about water differently as Tofino continues to grow and continues to use more water.”
He said Tofino’s district office and council plan to review the town’s current water restrictions and water rates.
“I think people realize that we have a wonderful but limited resource and I think once we tweak some of the restrictions, people will get on board and find ways to conserve water…It is on a radar, looking at water use, water restrictions and ways to conserve water to make our whole water system more efficient,” he said.
“We’ve had some comments from people about watering food plants and there’s been some discussion about how the restrictions play out. I think some of those comments have garnered some attention on council and have led council to want to have a look at how those restrictions work for Tofino specifically. A lot of water restrictions come from elsewhere and different water restrictions work well in cities that may not work the same in rural coastal towns.”
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