Manitoba

Morden restricts water usage as southern Manitoba city declares extreme drought

Another Manitoba community grappling with low precipitation levels has declared an extreme drought and is asking local residents and businesses to significantly scale back on water usage.

Looming fear of water supply restrictions comes to fruition as community grapples amid dry, hot conditions

The City of Morden, about 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, is restricting water usage due to extreme drought. (Kirk Fraser/CBC News)

Another Manitoba community grappling with low precipitation levels has declared an extreme drought and is asking local residents and businesses to significantly scale back on water usage.

Morden declared an extreme drought Tuesday afternoon, citing levels 2.7 metres below normal in Lake Minnewasta, which is where the southern Manitoba city gets its water from.

The community and several others in the Interlake and western Manitoba have been experiencing drought conditions for months. Late last week, Morden Mayor Brandon Burley said water supply restrictions were likely on the horizon.

The city is now aiming to reduce water usage by 30 per cent overall through a series of mitigation efforts.

Residents and commercial businesses are subject to a voluntary water conservation request, but several other sectors are now under mandatory restrictions.

Industrial businesses aren't permitted to use water for non-essential purposes and must keep to 80 per cent of past water consumption levels.

Landscape watering is completely restricted, meanwhile gardening and food production are only allowed one day per week (on the day of compost pickup), the city says.

Splash pads, pools and other outdoor leisure areas — anything that produces water spraying or draining onto streets — are not permitted.

No one is allowed to wash their vehicles at home, and commercial car washes have to reduce water usage by 20 per cent. 

Spraying and irrigation at agriculture operations are no longer permitted from the City of Morden, and livestock expansion isn't allowed.

Construction reliant on city sources of water is also restricted. The same is true of new planting and landscaping.

Restaurants and hotels must put up signs and only serve water on request. They also are asked to voluntarily reduce laundry loads.

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