Water Conservation

Ways to Conserve Water
Historically, Williams Lake residents have enjoyed generous sprinkling regulations. However, due to changing weather patterns and increased population, water conservation is required in order to ensure that we have all the necessary water for consumption and firefighting endeavours.

Conserving water does not have to be difficult. If each of us take a few small steps, we can make a positive impact on our water supply.
Lake view

Sprinkling Regulations - See Good Neighbour Bylaw No. 2194, Section 7.11

Residents are reminded that in order to conserve water supplies during the summer months (April through September), lawn sprinkling may only take place on odd numbered days for odd numbered addresses and even numbered days for even numbered addresses. Sprinkling is now prohibited between the hours of 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM to avoid loss of moisture through evaporation. Please position sprinklers so they do not unnecessarily spray sidewalks, driveways and streets. Special watering permits are available for new lawns. See 'Good Neighbour Bylaw No. 2194' for specific regulations, including those for automated sprinkling systems, or for any other clarification on sprinkling regulations. Contact City Hall at (250) 392-2311 for further information or if you have any questions.
Council has authorized a minimum fine of $100.00 for infractions of the sprinkling regulations, and offences will be enforced by the Bylaw Enforcement Department. 

Additional Conservation Tips

  • The average lawn may need about 100,000 litres of water in a growing season. Ironically, many people over-water, only to have this water run off, or evaporate in the sun. Untended sprinklers watering driveways or sidewalks are wasting this precious resource.
  • The best time to sprinkle is in the early morning, after the dew has dried, or in the late afternoon. Watering at these times cuts down on losses to evaporation. After a heavy rain, you may not need to water for a week or more.
  • As a general rule, your lawn and garden will need about 2 to 3 centimetres (1 inch) of water per week. One way to check whether you've applied enough water is to place a few plastic containers around your lawn when you water, to measure how much water has been applied.
  • If you use a sprinkler for your lawn, choose the type that spins in a circle. This type lays down water in a flat pattern in large droplets which drop to the soil surface more efficiently. Oscillating sprinklers lose more water to evaporation due to the fine spray produced, which may also be blown away on breezes.
  • Check sprinklers frequently to ensure that they are moving in the proper direction and water is not being lost to runoff. Set a timer to remind yourself to turn off or move sprinklers, or install an automatic timer which shuts the water off after an appropriate interval.
  • Take advantage of rain water where possible. Cisterns are perfect for catching rainwater from your roof for use on your lawn or garden. Channel downspouts into barrells, buckets, or holding tanks to collect water, taking adequate precautions to ensure that these are protected from children or small animals who may fall in.
  • Once you have supplied an adequate amount of water to your lawn or garden, you will want to do all you can to keep it in the soil. Incorporate compost, mulch or landscape fabric as appropriate to hold and regulate moisture in the soil.
  • Cut your grass at a higher level to provide shade for the roots. Set your lawnmower blades between 5 and 8 centimeters and leave the grass cuttings on the lawn as mulch. The mulch slows the evaporation of water from the soil and acts as fertilizer.
  • An 8 to 15 centimeter layer of loose, organic mulch on the soil surface around plants and trees helps retain moisture and moderates soil temperature.
  • If your lawn fades in the summer, do not panic. Grass becomes naturally dormant during hot, dry periods. It will revive quickly after a good rainfall or when the weather becomes cooler.
  • The City of Williams lake has a partnership with the Cariboo Conservation Society who have developed a program called Water Wise that gives more water conservation ideas and strategies.