Thursday November 27, 2014

Odd/even bylaw all wet

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Buried deep in Mondayís preliminary budget deliberations by Battleford town council was a suggestion a bylaw mandating even/odd outdoor watering days be nixed. The reasoning is the bylaw has not been enforced for a long time.

Why is that? Itís not a bylaw that would be difficult to enforce. Most watering, especially in front yards, is obvious, with slashing rainbows of sprinkler water arching over the landscape.

It seems a logical way to try to curb unnecessary waste of a precious resource, but those pushing for its removal are right. If it isnít going to be enforced, may as well take it off the books.

In some ways the unenforced bylaw may have had an opposite effect to its intended outcome. Often a sprinkler is observed in operation during, or right immediately following a substantial rainfall. In those cases it might have been that homeownerís day to water, so, by golly they were going to water, whether they needed to or not.

If odd/even watering is dropped, the Town should come up with an innovative education program to encourage residents to use restraint when watering their yards. Significant water is wasted when sprinklers are set to water streets as well as grass, for example. There are other innovations, such as mulching, which can also cut back substantially on the amount of water needed to keep plants healthy.

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