10/03/2012 11:57 EDT | Updated 12/03/2012 05:12 EST

Parched conditions could force tough water restrictions on Sunshine Coast

GIBSONS, B.C. - Watering restrictions more severe than any imposed during the heat of summer could be on the way for B.C.'s Sunshine Coast.

Regional district officials say a ban on all outdoor water use could be imposed within days in an area stretching from Langdale to Egmont, northwest of Vancouver.

The potential stage four restrictions follow the region's driest August and September on record, with no significant rainfall in the long-term forecast.

General manager of infrastructure services, Bryan Shoji, says restrictions imposed over the summer cut water use by about 50 per cent, but without rain, further curbs are needed.

Chapman Lake, north of Gibsons, supplies most of the region's water, and Shoji says pumps could be used to draw lake levels down below what the dam can supply, but he says the potential risks posed by that plan are quite significant.

The regional district is calling on all Sunshine Coast residents to voluntarily stop all non-essential water use, pending a decision on further restrictions. (CKAY)