Water Restrictions in the Comox Valley

The CVRD implemented changes to its Water Conservation bylaw on May 1, 2018 to reduce consumption of water and make it easier for residents to comply with annual water restrictions. 

Why do we need water restrictions?

Residents connected to the Comox Valley Water System rely on water drawn from the Puntledge River downstream of Comox Lake. We are fortunate to have Comox Lake as the source for our drinking water, but the Lake does not offer an infinite supply of fresh water.

Comox Lake is approximately 61 meters deep during the winter months. Only 4.5 meters of that total depth is available for domestic use, fish flows and power generation.  

In the summer when the snow has already melted and the rain stops, the depth of the lake reduces and the amount of water that we can access shrinks with the level of the lake. During times of drought, BC Hydro reduces the amount of water it releases down the Puntledge River to ensure there is enough water available in storage to last the summer. As drought conditions intensify, conditions become more and more difficult for the salmon population in the river. During these times, it is important that we do our part to limit domestic water use to protect our salmon populations.

Water conservation measures have been in place since 2010. It is hoped that the changes to the watering schedule will help the public to get used to moving to Stage 1 restrictions at a set time each year.

Not only is this the right thing to do from a conservation perspective but it also helps to prepare us for the shift to Stage 2 when lake levels begin to decrease.

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