Are we holding onto our water?

We need to rethink the way we use water. Otherwise, we will wake up one day and there will be none left.

The City of Port Alberni has already instituted water restrictions, and we are still two weeks away from official summer. We’ve already experienced record-breaking heat and have been warned by weather experts that this trend will continue through August.

The situation is so dire in the Alberni Valley that the city has warned we might have to go to Stage 2 water restrictions. Only they don’t know what those restrictions are, because they’ve never faced this level of concern.

Provincially, we have already reached Level 3 drought conditions on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources released a bulletin urging people to conserve water. Level 3 means everyone is asked to reduce consumption by 20 per cent.

British Columbians use more than the Canadian average of 270 litres of water per day, according to provincial government statistics.

The state of our water­—and water usage—is getting serious, and we need to start paying attention. We all need to do our part to conserve water, whether it’s taking shorter showers, not watering grass (that means the city too) or not letting a tap run. Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

Water restrictions should be a regular occurrence—not just on an emergency basis—beginning with the May long weekend, as many people observe it as the unofficial start of summer.

We need to rethink the way we use water. Otherwise, we will wake up one day and there will be none left.

— Alberni Valley News