Metro Vancouver residents will only be able to water their lawns once a week beginning May 1.
Following last summer’s prolonged heatwave and related high demand for water, Metro Vancouver updated its Drinking Water Conservation Plan in October of 2021, making Stage 1 and 2 of the plan more restrictive in order to prevent or delay advancing to Stage 3 or 4.
Under Stage 1 of the updated plan, which will remain in effect until Oct. 15, lawn watering will be restricted to once a week for both residential and non-residential properties, down from twice a week in 2021.
If dry conditions persist and the decision is made to move to Stage 2 or higher, lawn watering will not be allowed at all.
“Our water use can increase by 50 per cent in summer and early fall, largely due to lawn watering. The region‑wide watering regulations are an effective way to help us use our drinking water wisely,” according to Metro Vancouver’s website.
The new restrictions state that residential properties with even-numbered addresses will be allowed to water their lawns Saturday mornings, while watering at odd-numbered addresses will be limited to Sunday mornings.
The regulations also set out separate times for residents with automatic watering systems and those who water their lawns manually — 5-7 a.m. for the former and 6-9 a.m. for the latter.
For non-residential properties, even-numbered addresses will be limited to Monday mornings and odd-numbered addresses to Tuesdays. Those with irrigation systems will be allowed to water from 4 to 6 a.m., while manual watering will be restricted to between 6 and 9 a.m.
Watering trees, shrubs and flowers at both residential and non-residential properties is permitted any day if using a sprinkler (5-9 a.m. for residential and 4-9 a.m. for non-residential), or any time if hand-watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
Edible plants are exempt from watering regulations.
The restrictions do not apply to the use of rain water, gray water, any forms of recycled water, or other sources of water outside the Greater Vancouver Water District/municipal water supply system.
The full list of Stages 1 to 4 water use regulations for homes, businesses, governments and schools is available at metrovancouver.org/services/water/WaterPublications/DrinkingWaterConservationPlanSummary.pdf.