Water use creeping up

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Covid-19 slashed water usage in Point Roberts, but hot summer weather and more property owners finding a way to get their gardens taken care of has it creeping back up.

“It has been really dry and people are watering more, hiring lawn contractors or having neighbors help out,” said water district manager Dan Bourks.

In July 2019, before Covid-19 restrictions and with the golf course open and irrigating, the water district pumped 21.6 million gallons of water to local users, averaging just under 700,000 gallons a day. In July 2020, that number had dropped to 6.3 million gallons, or 200,000 gallons a day. This July, water usage was up to 9.6 million gallons for the month, or 310,000 gallons per day.

Bourks said the precipitous drop in water sales had a significant impact on the water district’s finances, but due to the base rate paid by all users regardless of the volume of water used, the district was able to maintain infrastructure and meet their contract obligation to buy a fixed amount of water from the Greater Vancouver Water District. “We are scraping by but we are covering costs,” he said.

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