City Shutting Down All Non-Essential Grass Watering in Parks and Green Spaces

July 7, 2015

Courtenay City Council has authorized a complete shut-down of all non-essential grass watering in Courtenay parks and green spaces.

Watering had already been either significantly cut back or shut down throughout the city’s vast network of parks, boulevards, and municipal buildings. With the onset of stage three watering restrictions, and the ongoing dry weather conditions, these water conservation measures have now been expanded.

How does the city monitor irrigation?
The majority of our systems are controlled by a central computer. This controller is connected to a weather station, reducing consumption when it rains.

What about playing fields?
The premier fields in Courtenay are sand-based. These are designed to shed winter rains, and require watering in summer or the turf will die within days.  Replacing each field would cost tens of thousands of dollars, and render the playing fields unusable for a significant period of time. Sports fields also need to be kept in safe condition for sporting events. Watering will need to continue on these fields: Woodcote Park, Valleyview Park, and Bill Moore Park.

Watering on the margins of the fields has been shut down, so all water is targeted where it is needed most.

How will this affect our green spaces?
Park users can expect to see browning or patchy grass in neighbourhood parks and boulevards.  Some trees will lose their leaves due to the dry conditions. The turf areas will have an increased number of weeds as they tend to thrive in the absence of healthy grass.  Finally, there may be an increase in dust, especially when shaded or growing areas are mowed.

How you can help
If you spot problems with irrigation on city parks or boulevards, including vandalism to sprinkler heads, please let us know by emailing or call our Parks Department at 250-338-1525 so we can investigate.

We are responsible for managing hundreds of parks and boulevards. We ask for your assistance and support as we further reduce our water consumption.