Practical conservation

It’s good that citizens like Steve Sanders are keeping an eye on things like the amount of water public green spaces are receiving, and it’s also good that the city is receptive to this input, even if it disagrees with Mr. Sanders’ claims of excessive irrigation at Twin Rivers Park.

It’s good that citizens like Steve Sanders are keeping an eye on things like the amount of water public green spaces are receiving, and it’s also good that the city is receptive to this input, even if it disagrees with Mr. Sanders’ claims of excessive irrigation at Twin Rivers Park.

As you can read on page 3 of this edition of the Castlegar News, Mr. Sanders says he’s been watching closely and is convinced that the city is pouring too much water onto already saturated fields at the popular park. The civic works department disagrees, saying the new grass in the area requires a high level of saturation.

Who’s right? It’s hard to say, but it does seem to us that if there is standing water on the field and rain in the forecast, it probably makes sense to keep the sprinklers off until conditions become a little drier.

That said, unless the irrigation is threatening to damage the grass it is intended to maintain (as Mr. Sanders suggests might be the case), the city ought not go to excessive lengths simply to “save” a bit of water from being sprinkled onto the field and ultimately making its way back into the groundwater or river systems.

Conservation is a noble goal — and one the city itself is promoting to its water customers — but in practical terms probably not worth it in this case if it means spending a significant amount of money paying city staff to constantly monitor the sprinkling systems and make frequent adjustments based on local conditions at each of Castlegar’s 16 parks.

The timer system works well enough and is cost effective. If it means a little more water is sprayed onto city fields than is absolutely necessary, that’s not the end of the world. It’s not like Castlegar is facing an imminent water shortage.

It’s a tricky position for the city, because it means perhaps not strictly practising what they preach in terms of conservation, but we think most taxpayers would rather see a little extra irrigation than a lot of extra spending.

– Castlegar News