To paraphrase Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz … water and power and fire, oh my!
Unlike Dorothy’s fears of walking through the unknown forest, the fear of forest fires, power outages and water shortages are only too real this summer across the province.
While forest fires are always the summer’s hot-button issue province-wide, the hot, dry weather has communities raising a flag on water usage, too, while BC Hydro has expressed concern about power usage.
Taken together, it all sounds a little bit apocalyptic. But we haven’t reached the end of times just yet – these are precautions being taken by those in positions of authority.
And despite the recent cooling pattern in the Lower Mainland over the past week – a weather system that even included some much-needed rain – the concern should remain, and common sense should always prevail.
It will take more than a few hours of light rain to have the campfire and burning ban removed, and water levels won’t improve overnight.
The precautions currently in place are simply good operating procedure, no matter the time of year. Regardless of usage concerns, should we not try to conserve?
The water issue is one that continues to perplex residents throughout the province, with people either confused about the rules, or choosing to ignore them completely.
Over the past week, numerous calls and emails to the Peace Arch News have posed the same question – do the water restrictions apply to White Rock, since the city is not tapped into the Metro Vancouver system?
According to water-supplier Epcor, White Rock remains under normal – stage 1 – summer restrictions, but does it really matter? Water levels are low everywhere, so it does no harm to err on the side of caution.
(On social media, the hashtag #grassholes has sprouted up, as a way to publicly shame those with perfect, green lawns who continue to flout the restrictions.)
As for the water supply, experts predict that in three decades, about one-third of the world’s population will suffer from chronic shortages.
So perhaps it’s time to take notice, with our systems being pressed to the limit, and wonder what it might be like in years to come, when severe restrictions are placed on our resources.
Conserving a few drops of water here and there might not seem like a lot, but developing a conservationist attitude now, as individuals and as a community, will help ensure resources will be available for our next generation.