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5 ways we can help the CRD's water system this summer

A small shift in automatic irrigation timing can bring big results for region's water system
Greater Victorians with timed irrigations systems are asked to shift their start times, to avoid too many starting at 4, 5 and 6 a.m.

Many Greater Victoria property owners are mindful of when they water their landscape, following the Regional Supply Water Conservation Bylaw by choosing the early-morning hours for their automatic irrigation systems to water.

However recent summers have seen high, sudden demands because many of those irrigation systems all start at the same time – particularly 4, 5 and 6 a.m. In fact, on residential lawn watering days, when this instantaneous outdoor use falls on the hour and overlaps with early morning indoor use, water demand can double. This can cause the Capital Regional District's water infrastructure to struggle to maintain adequate flow, pressure and high water quality standards.

The good news is that a few simple changes to irrigation start times throughout the region will make all the difference!

To help, the CRD added a new lawn watering time – 12:01 to 10 a.m. on residential watering days, for timed irrigation systems only. This extra time gives room for those with automatic/timed irrigation systems to avoid the hours of peak demand and reduce stress on the distribution system.

How can you help?

  1. Switch to the new watering schedule – Does your home or business have an automatic irrigation system? Switch to the new watering schedule for timed irrigation systems. The water supply infrastructure needs more water to flow between midnight and 4 a.m.
  2. Help is available – Having trouble switching your timer? Check out your system’s manufacturer website for a how-to. If you're still having trouble, email for help. 
  3. Stagger your irrigation start times – Stagger your irrigation system start time off the top of the hour to reduce the instantaneous demand. Pick a random time like 2:23 a.m. or 1:41 a.m.
  4. Practice waterwise habits for lawns and gardens – Gold is the new green! Let your lawn go golden this summer, and it will bounce back to green in the fall. If you do want to keep your lawn green, remember it only need one inch of water a week, including rain. For your plants, water in short bursts to let water seep into the soil, promoting strong roots. Native plants also require little to no watering and support biodiversity.
  5. Shift other water use – The watering schedule days only applies to lawns – if you can, water flowers, veggies, trees and shrubs on non-lawn watering days. And even those without a greenspace can help by refraining from using large amounts of water before 10 a.m., striving for a five-minute shower and delaying using your dishwasher and washing machine until the evening or later in the day.

Find the watering schedule, along with many more water-wise tips, at