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A community in Canada will cut off water to those who do not abide by its rules

The city of Merritt announced water restrictions, which the mayor said would not be considered until mid-July, in an effort to conserve water before wildfire season begins and thus get people used to using less vital fluids.

Level 3 watering restrictions went into effect in Merritt, limiting watering of lawns and gardens to twice a week, on designated days in accordance with civic directives. Watering and hand washing are permitted at all times.

The city's mayor, Michael Goetz, said he is looking forward to what might happen in the coming months, knowing that the winter snowpack is the lowest ever recorded for this time of year.

According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Merritt region, located about 200 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, is facing a serious drought. That ministry described river levels as: Significantly low.

With Level 3 implemented, Mayor Goetz hopes the city will not have to issue stricter restrictions later this year.

Michael Goetz, Mayor of Merritt, is confident his city's residents will respect water restrictions.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Frédéric Gagnon

According to Goetz, the city is fed by two aquifers: one is located at a depth of about 73 meters underground and the second is located at a depth of 152 meters.

For our aquifer, it's a guessing game because we don't really know how much water is thereHe added that the area is semi-desert.

We'd rather be careful to make sure we have enough water to get through the warmer times, because it gets really hot out here.Goetz said.

Water service may be cut off

In previous years, the city imposed fines on people who did not follow watering restrictions. But now, officials said they plan to cut off water service to homeowners if they don't follow the rules.

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Those who break the rules will receive a letter explaining how they violated the restrictions, telling them not to do it again or risk having their water connection cut off, Goetz said.

Paying a fine does not help much because people pay the fine and then continue their bad behavior.

Two women tending to some flower pots on the balcony.

Diane Boston and her daughter, Payton, maintain their own porch garden in Merritt, adhering to watering restrictions.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Julie Landry

Different reactions

Merritt resident Linda Warner said she is thrilled the city is taking this type of water conservation initiative.

This will raise awareness and help everyone conserve water.He said.

Warner plans to water her garden by hand, and said she's willing to let her grass die so she can continue watering her shrubs and vegetables.

The grass will die over the summer anyway, so it's not worth the hassle of watering it now. It is enough to simply leave it dormant because it will grow green again when the rains return.

But not all neighbors agree with this idea. One resident, Diana Boston, disagrees. She also grows her garden plants in containers and will water them by hand, but she said not everyone has that opportunity.

If we want to water our plants, we have to stay here for hours with the hoseHe said. Not possible, especially for the elderly.

Boston said it is implementing Level 3 drought control in its community It doesn't mean anythingBecause fire restrictions have not yet been imposed in the area.

If I want to start a fire, I have to have access to waterHe said.

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He is also concerned about the plan to cut off water if people do not adhere to the rules.

Water is a necessity. It's not a privilege, it's a rightBoston said. If they're going to cut off the water, it seems to me that's not right from a human standpoint.

However, Mayor Goetz said the goal of implementing Level 3 is to ensure water is available later in the season, when things are more critical.

We will watch very carefullyGoetz said. It's really simple. If you don't have water, you don't have a city. It's easy.

Source: CBC/J. Landry

Adaptation: RCI/R. Valencia

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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