Metro Vancouver’s lawn watering regulations will come into effect on Wednesday, May 1, and remain in place until October 15, in a concerted effort to conserve treated drinking water during the hot and dry summer months.
The Stage 1 regulations are being activated as part of Metro Vancouver’s Drinking Water Conservation Plan. Residents can water their lawn two mornings per week while watering trees, shrubs and flowers is limited to mornings only when using a sprinkler. An hour of rain or watering per week is all your lawn needs to remain healthy.
“Lawn watering regulations have resulted in significant reductions in peak summer water demand and we encourage people to continue respecting these seasonal regulations, especially as we experience hotter and drier summers,” said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Water Committee. “Impacts of climate change result in longer dry spells in the summer, meaning we all have to do our part to conserve water when we can.”
Metro Vancouver’s drinking water supply relies on snowpack, as well as cumulative precipitation to bolster the water levels in the three reservoirs that supply our drinking water.
Recent snowpack surveys conducted in the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam watersheds in early April 2019 show snowpack levels are slightly lower than average for this time of year, but reservoir levels are expected to reach 100 per cent by June. Metro Vancouver’s three alpine lakes — Palisade, Burwell, and Loch Lomond – which are used as reserves for the Capilano and Seymour reservoirs in late summer, are also anticipated to be at full capacity by early summer.
“Long range climate projections show that our region can expect more than double the number of summer days above 25 degrees in the future,” Brodie said. “Implementing good conservation habits today will better allow us to continue to meet our region’s water needs in the future. It’s the right thing to do.”
Although the region’s population continues to grow, overall water demand has historically remained relatively steady, generally offset by conservation measures. However, overall consumption is increasing gradually as the effect of the rate of population growth on water demands begins to exceed the per capita water use reductions.
Local governments throughout Metro Vancouver enforce the lawn watering restrictions through local bylaw regulations.
Stage 1 residential lawn watering allowed:
- Even-numbered addresses Wednesday, Saturday mornings 4 am to 9 am
- Odd-numbered addresses Thursday, Sunday mornings 4 am to 9 am
- Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day, from 4 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
Stage 1 non-residential lawn watering allowed:
- Even-numbered addresses: Monday mornings, 1 am to 6 am and Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am
- Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesday mornings, 1 am to 6 am and Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am
- Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day, from 1 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
For more information about watering regulations, as well as tips for using less water on lawns and around the house, visit www.metrovancouver.org and search ‘watering regulations’.