Drought shaming alternative in Nanaimo rewards water savers
Win a gift card and a rubber ducky trophy for being a 'water champion'
Don't be a drought shamer; be a water champion, say the City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Rather than point the finger people who are wasting water on their lawns or decks, the local and regional governments are encouraging residents to nominate their neighbours as "water champions" in a new contest.
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Weekly water saver contest
"Seeing the drought that's struck our area during this summer, we wanted a way that would be fun, and lively, and actually have a positive reinforcement aspect to promote people taking action to save water this summer," said Julie Pisani, a program coordinator with the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Nanaimo is asking neighbours to nominate each other for their water saving techniques that include basic changes, such as incorporating native plants and drought-tolerant species, "planting" a rock garden that doesn't need irrigation, using grey water, collecting rain water and mulching the soil.
In recognizing those who are going above and beyond to save water, Nanaimo hopes to encourage a cultural shift in communities, moving away from wasteful water use outdoors on lawns to more efficient ways of using water in our landscapes, Pisani said.
Current water restrictions in Nanaimo
The Regional District of Nanaimo — excluding the city of Nanaimo — is currently under a level four water ban which prohibits all lawn watering.
The City of Nanaimo itself has a separate water supply and is still under level two drought restrictions, meaning residents are allowed to water their lawns just twice a week.
To hear the full interview with Julie Pisani, listen to the audio labelled: Be a water champion, not a drought shamer.