Mount Washington Alpine Resort, BC, Asking Guests to Bring Own Drinking Water and Use Outdoor Porta Potties Due to Drought

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mount Washington alpine resort, British Columbia,
Mount Washington Alpine Resort, BC. Credit: Facebook

Vancouver Island, BC, is currently experiencing the worst drought in 15 years and it’s having a significant effect on a local ski area. 

The lack of snow at Mount Washington Alpine Resort means that not only is snow coverage low for today’s opening day, but lack of water in local reservoirs means that resort staff are asking guests to bring their own drinking water, reports CBC.

“The springs which produce Mount Washington‘s potable water supply have slowed to record low production. Expecting an increase in visitors to the mountain as our winter season and the holidays approach, there are concerns about potential water shortages, and as such proactive measures are required by all members of the community and those visiting to conserve our current water supply. With Vancouver Island experiencing the worst drought levels in over 15 years, the Puntledge River flow and the Comox Lake Reservoir level have also never been as low as they are now; the Campbell River reservoir storage is the lowest on record since 1984, BC Hydro said in a release this past Monday. Snowpack in the upper watershed is less than 25 percent of what is considered normal for this time of year. With Mt. Washington’s elevation at the top of the watershed, we are among the first to be affected by water shortages.”

– Resort statement

The resort is taking a number of proactive measures to reduce its water usage, and that includes asking guests to bring their own drinking water, and the use of porta potties outdoors to reduce indoor toilet use. All measures below:

  • Reducing water use throughout business operations wherever possibleShutting off water refill stations
  • Use of disposable plates & cutlery to reduce the use of dishwashers
  • Educate staff on water-saving measures including bringing water from home
  • Providing bottled water for sale at F&B outlets and retail locations around the resort
  • Providing notices to all overnight and arriving guests to bring a supply of bottled water with them, and to reduce water usage while visiting by means noted below
  • Adding porta potties outside to reduce indoor use
  • Maintaining hand sanitizer stations around the resort to reduce the need for additional hand washing
  • Avoiding operation of snowmaking equipment, however, the potable water source is not connected to the snowmaking reservoir

Vancouver Island is currently at drought level three out of five, where five is the worst. At level three, serious ecosystem or socio-economic impacts are possible, and the government recommends curtailing all unauthorized water use, writes CBC.

With the snowpack at less than 25% of normal, today’s opening day will be on limited terrain, although there is snow in the forecast.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Mount Washington Alpine Resort trail map.

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