As of today, Feb. 15, level three watering restrictions are in effect for Merritt.

The City of Merritt announced that the restrictions in effect are due to the lower than average snowpack in the region, which projects that groundwater levels will suffer throughout this summer.

“The current raw data shows groundwater levels notably below historic 10-year minimum and maximum levels,” the release reads.

Groundwater Level Statistics Chart. Infographic/Province of B.C.

The City is also working on a management plan to reduce the likelihood of reaching restrictive levels 4 and 5.

“At present, the City is keeping level three watering restrictions and is encouraging residents to practice water conservation year-round to protect our drinking water and fish habitats, particularly on Coldwater River, which is a ‘losing reach’ or ‘sinking river’ where incoming water drains into the city’s aquifers,” the release reads.

Level 3 allows residents to water using sprinklers two times a week:

Even-numbered addresses: Thursday and Sunday, 6-8 a.m. or 7-9 p.m.

Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesday and Saturday, 6-8 a.m. or 7-9 p.m.

Hand watering and washing is permitted at any time under Level 3.