Kootenay residents are asked to conserve their water as the region is in the midst of a significant drought with more dry conditions to come.

“All water users in affected areas need to reduce their water use wherever possible and observe all watering restrictions from their local/regional government, water utility provider or irrigation district,” said B.C. government officials.

Residents can use a number of methods to reduce water use, such as limiting outdoor watering to the early morning or evening when there is little to no wind, growing drought-resistant plants, taking shorter showers, not leaving taps running and considering installing water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets.

“If conservation measures do not achieve sufficient results and drought conditions worsen, temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act may be issued to avoid significant or irreversible harm to aquatic ecosystems,” said provincial officials. “Water use to extinguish a fire or contain and control the spread of a fire remains exempt from a provincial water licence or approval.”

Drought conditions across the province are ranked on a scale ranging from zero to five, with zero meaning there are likely to be no adverse impacts while five means adverse impacts to the local ecosystem and economy are almost certain.

The West and Central Kootenay regions are at level four, while the East Kootenay is at level two.