Despite the heat wave, Quebec City on Wednesday banned watering the grounds and filling certain pools on its territory because it lacked water. A problem she attributes to low rainfall in May and June and to COVID-19.
On average, the population consumes 250,000 m3 of drinking water per day in Quebec. For its part, the City produces 447,000 m3 of water daily, which is more than enough to meet her needs. However, these days we reach peaks of up to 560,000 m3, Which forces her to draw heavily on her reserves.
According to the Labeaume administration, this increase stems from COVID-19. With remote working and containment, people are more at home and consuming more water, summarized the adviser in charge of the file, Suzanne Verreault, in an impromptu press briefing Wednesday afternoon.
To complicate matters, it almost did not rain in the capital in May and June (47 mm and 17 mm in May and June 2020 compared to 110 mm and 120 mm last year).
This puts the City in an unprecedented and “critical” situation, said Mme Verreault. The population should not be alarmed, but must mobilize so that the City no longer has to draw on its reserves, especially since it is the beginning of summer, she said.
The lack of water also helps explain in part why some residents of central neighborhoods saw yellow or brown water running from their tap on Tuesday. Work in underground pipes was also involved, said the councilor.
Same fight in Drummondville, Trois-Rivières, Shawinigan and Bécancour
“If your neighbor wants to water his drive-way for the third time, could you say two words to him? “Meanwhile launched the mayor Régis Labeaume.
The city’s main drinking water basin, Lac Saint-Charles, has “enough water for now”, but the Montmorency River which is also in the watershed is at a particularly low level, a reported the mayor.
Prohibited activities include filling swimming pools, washing vehicles, cleaning parking lots, driveways and the exterior cladding of homes. The same goes for watering lawns, both manually and through an automatic system. Some exceptions apply, however. Thus, it is possible to fill a swimming pool only if it is new and you can water your lawn if it has just been laid.
After an initial warning, offenders face fines ranging from $ 150 to $ 1,000. These measures are in effect for an indefinite period.
Watering vegetable gardens, flower boxes and flower beds is currently allowed.
The city, which cleans its streets with clean water, has also halted its own cleaning operations, Labeaume said on Wednesday.
Other municipalities issued water ban notices on Wednesday including Trois-Rivières, Drummondville, Bécancour and Shawinigan. In Bécancour, reserves have never been lower in 40 years.