Nova Scotia

Water supply in Dartmouth and surrounding area continues to dwindle

Conservation has saved three million litres of water a day, but the water levels at the Lake Major water supply are still dropping.

'Fantastic' water conservation efforts not enough to restore water supply in the Dartmouth area

Water levels at Lake Major have decreased to historic lows this year. The picture on the left was taken on Nov. 15, 2015, and the picture on the right was taken today. (Halifax Water, Preston Mulligan/CBC)

Water levels at Lake Major — the water source for Dartmouth and the surrounding areas — continue to drop to new historic lows despite some rain in Nova Scotia over the weekend.

Halifax Water said Tuesday the supply is shrinking despite mandatory water restrictions in Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Westphal, North Preston and Eastern Passage. 

3 million litres of water a day saved

People in those areas haven't been able to water their lawns, fill pools, or use water outside since Sept. 19. Those restrictions remain in place.

"Their efforts at conserving water have been fantastic," said James Campbell, a spokesman for Halifax Water.

"We've saved about three million litres per day since we put the restrictions in place."

Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Westphal, North Preston and Eastern Passage are under mandatory water conservation restrictions due to low water levels at Lake Major. (Halifax Water)

Campbell said that's the equivalent of filling 1.2 Olympic-sized swimming pools a day, or the same as 11,000 residents not using any water. 

'There could be further restrictions'

Still, water levels continue to drop.

"If we don't have a significant amount of rainfall in the next few weeks there could be further restrictions. Right now the weather forecast is not promising," said Campbell.

The water level at Lake Major is dramatically different today than it was on Nov. 15, 2015 (left). (Halifax Water, Preston Mulligan/CBC)

He estimates the area needs about 150 millimetres of rain over four or five days to help restore water levels.

'We'll take rain any way we can get it'

The light showers and drizzle the province has received in recent weeks have done little to help dwindling water supplies, said Campbell.

"I understand there is a hurricane making its way up the coast. We would rather not get a dose of rain through a hurricane but it's getting to the point where we'll take rain any way we can get it."     

Pockwock Lake — the water supply that serves Halifax — is also at historic low levels. Campbell said that isn't a concern yet because Pockwock is such a large watershed.