Local woman is Rossland's new Water Ambassador

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
May 27th, 2019

Meet Rossland’s new Water Ambassador – we could have a dry summer.

Kai Symington-Kruus grew up here in Rossland, and graduated from high school just last year.  She has just completed her first year at the University of Victoria, majoring in Geography and Coastal Studies, and now she is eager to help Rosslanders conserve water this summer — and still have beautiful yards.

Her job as Water Ambassador will be focused on how to optimize our outdoor use of water.   She’ll help people by doing “lawn assessments” by appointment, and  promoting public understanding of Rossland’s new Outdoor Water Use Regulation Bylaw. 

From June until the end of August,  Kai will have a booth at the Mountain Market on Thursdays.  She’ll also spread the word about water conservation and how to achieve it, at such events as the Rossland Public Library’s garden club.  If your organization would like to book Kai to do a Water Ambassador presentation, please get in touch with her; see her contact information below.  

Kai will talk to people about different types of irrigation, including the very efficient drip irrigation method.  She'll explain how to avoid wasting water to evaporation in the heat of the day, and explain the reasoning behind the provisions of the new Bylaw.

She will talk about xeriscaping, and plants that withstand dry conditions better than others.  She’ll talk about different types of grass, and about the advantages of planting clover and wildflowers.  She’ll also assess how the City uses water in our local parks and on playing fields.

To book Kai for a lawn assessment (maybe we should just call it a “yard assessment” because it can include vegetable gardens and other plantings), please e-mail her at water.smart@rossland.ca or phone her at 250-521-2231.  The assessment will take about 30 minutes, and — according to a press release from the City of Rossland –at the end of it, you will be given a free hose timer, and be entered to win one of three drip irrigation kits.

Rossland’s water use is currently at “Stage 1” — that is in effect all year.  For residential uses, Watering (except for minor essential hand watering) is allowed only on alternate days – on even-numbered days for even-numbered addresses, and on odd-numbered days for odd-numbered addresses.  Here’s a  more detailed look at the restrictions for Stage 1:

For vegetable gardens, fruit trees and permitted livestock – conservation is encouraged, but there are no other specific restrictions.

For lawns, shrubs, other trees and flower beds:  Watering is allowed ONLY from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM, and 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

For new landscaping and decorative hanging baskets or containers:  Watering is allowed ONLY from 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM and from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

For washing vehicles, boats, bicycles and motorized equipment, or hardscapes, sidewalks, roofs or any outdoor surfaces, and filling residential hot-tubs and pools:   These are allowed ONLY from 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM and from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Those restrictions are all just for Stage 1; when the water in our main reservoir falls half a meter, Stage 2 restrictions will be in place.  See the screenshots below for the complete chart of restrictions.

The bylaw specifically prohibits wasting water, and “to waste” is defined as “to purposelessly use water, such as but not limited to leaving a flowing hose unattended, leaving a broken irrigation head unattended, or oversaturation of a landscape.” 

Wasting water is now an offense under the new bylaw, and subject to a fine of $100 per incident – to a maximum of $2,500.  Any other breach of the water restrictions is also an offense, and subject to that fine.  City personnel are empowered to enter upon any property to assess compliance with the bylaw.

The “carrot” is a community with an adequate supply of water.  The “stick” is the possibility of a fine for non-compliance.  Our Water Ambassador is here to help ensure that we all know how to benefit from the “carrot” — and that the “stick” should never be needed.

Categories: General

Other News Stories