Water Use High in Nanaimo - Residents Urged to Conserve

Vancouver Island is experiencing drought conditions


With the onset of hot, dry weather in early April, water demand in Nanaimo is higher than normal and 10% higher than this time last year. June's overcast, showery weather has helped somewhat, but consumption is still strong and local rivers have not recovered significantly.

On Monday, May 30th, the Province of B.C. moved Vancouver Island to a Level 3 Drought Ranking ‘Very Dry’. This was prompted by very low flows in most rivers and streams on the island and dry weather conditions which are expected to continue. Snowpack accumulation was better this winter than last, but that snow has already melted with the early warm spring weather. Long-range forecasts predict a summer that is warmer and drier than average.

Stage 2 Watering Restrictions (every other day watering) have been in effect since May 1, 2016 and will remain in place.

Residents are urged to take voluntary action to markedly reduce water use in an effort to avoid and/or defer the need for further restrictions.

Strategic Link: Water Conservation, and treating water as a shared resource.

Key Points

  • The new watering restrictions have helped ensure consistency across the entire mid-Island area. It is still important that everyone maintain a conservation focus to preserve our precious drinking water and avoid further restrictions.
  • Similar to last year, we encourage residents to let their lawns go golden. Outdoor watering uses twice the water compared to winter time use.


"We are pleased to report that Jump Lake is at full storage - exactly where we want it to be at this time of year. However, water use is up 10% over last year, due to the early warm spell. Efforts at conserving water now will help make sure that Nanaimo's supply will remain healthy throughout the summer, and will allow us to ensure that flows to the Nanaimo River can be supported as well."

Manager, Water Resources
City of Nanaimo


Bill Sims
Manager, Water Resources
City of Nanaimo
Julie Pisani
Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Coordinator
Regional District of Nanaimo

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