The water level in our city’s largest reservoir, Bay Bulls-Big Pond, is almost as low as it was in 2004 when council banned everything from watering your lawn to certain kinds of crying (doing so out of sadness was ok, but tears of joy were considered wasteful).
As such, the regional water committee on the northeast Avalon has recommended curbing water consumption in St. John’s this summer.
One of the main reasons for our low water levels has to do with this year’s mild winter (which was awesome, btw). The lack of snow lead to a lack of run off during the spring thaw (aka June).
That’s all fine and factual, but it does still kinda baffle me how somewhere like St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, can run low on water. It’s not like we’re some concrete jungle surrounded by other concrete jungles, all competing for the same far-away puddle. We are nestled in amongst a fairly pristine wilderness of trees, ponds, lakes and, ok, a lot of rocks.
If we can’t keep the water flowing freely for less than 200,000 people, surely the world, with a population of 6.77 billion people and rising, is doomed to be parched. Or at the very least have to deal with a lot of empty swimming pools.
[image via http://www.flickr.com/photos/fogonthedowns/ / CC BY 2.0]
It’s official, council has banned the use of outdoor water in St. John’s. Here’s their list of do’s and don’t's:
Effective immediately there will be a ban on:
(i) The watering of lawns at anytime (only exception is new lawns noted below)
(ii) The watering of flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs, etc. (recommend save and use residents household water for this purpose).
(iii) The use of water for outdoor swimming pools
(iv) The washing of driveways and vehicles
(v) The pressure washing of windows and house siding
The only exceptions to this ban are as follows:
(i) Commercial Car Washes
(ii) Commercial Pressure Washing Companies
(iii) New lawns for 60 days. (5:00 am to 7:00 am and 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm daily). Residents who already have new lawns installed will be permitted to water them for 60 days. Residents with new lawns will be required to register with the City information such as address, date of installation, etc. by calling 311. It is recommended that residents who have not completed their landscaping as of today’s date defer such work until later this year.
(iv) Commercial Greenhouses and Nurseries within their premises only
So that’s that. Or is it?
I’d say it’s time we all started boning up on grey water.