Water Use Restrictions & Regulations

During the summer our water use can double mainly due to outdoor uses such as watering lawns and gardens, washing cars, and pressure washing outdoor surfaces. Region-wide regulations are an effective way to help use our drinking water wisely and reduce demands during these drier months. Watering outside of the allowed times could result in a $75 to $500 fine under the Drinking Water Conservation Plan Bylaw No. 4838, 2018

Duration

The region-wide water use restrictions are in effect from May 1 to October 15.  By default, Stage 1 restrictions are activated starting May 1.

  1. Fire-risk Rating

    Fire Risk Rating Gauge. Current level is low.It's always important to keep an eye on and be aware of the local fire-risk rating as there are a number of changes and impacts to residents when it increases such as barbeque bans in our parks or the relaxation of watering restrictions in areas adjacent to heavily wooded/forested areas such as Mundy Park the northern forested boundary of the city.

    The current fire risk is “LOW”

When the fire risk rating is in the “Extreme” range for three or more consecutive days, certain residential and business properties identified as extreme risk located immediately adjacent to Mundy Park and along the northern forested boundary of the City are eligible for a relaxation of summertime watering restrictions. 

Please visit our summer fire safety webpage for a list of exempted addresses and to see the days and times watering is permitted.

Current Stage of Water Restrictions: Stage 1 

  1. Stage 1 Restrictions
  2. Stage 2 Restrictions
  3. Stage 3 Restrictions
  4. Stage 4 Restrictions

Lawn Watering

Residential

Lawn watering is allowed:

  • Even-numbered addresses:
    • Wednesdays and Saturdays
      4 to 9 am
  • Odd-numbered addresses
    • Thursdays and Sundays
      4 to 9 am

Lawn Watering

Non-Residential

Lawn watering is allowed:

  • Even-numbered addresses
    • Mondays 1 to 6 am
    • Fridays 4 to 9 am
  • Odd-numbered addresses
    • Tuesdays 1 to 6 am
    • Fridays 4 to 9 am

Gardens, Shrubs, Trees & Planters

Residential

Sprinklers (hose-fed, irrigation) are allowed any day, 4 to 9 am

Allowed any day, any time:

  • Drip irrigation
  • Hand watering (using a watering container or hose with an automatic shut-off device)
  • No restrictions on edible plants
  • Soaker hose

Non-Residential

Sprinklers (hose-fed, irrigation) are allowed any day, 1 to 9 am

Allowed any day, any time:

  • Drip irrigation
  • Hand watering (using a watering container or hose with an automatic shut-off device)
  • No restrictions on edible plants
  • Soaker hose

Residential Car & Boat Washing

Hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off device.

Outdoor Surfaces & Power Washing

Hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off device. Power washing is permitted.

Decorative Water Features, Pools & Hot Tubs

There are no restrictions.

Drinking Water Conservation Plan

The full list of water use regulations for homes, businesses, governments, and schools is available in Metro Vancouver’s Drinking Water Conservation Plan Summary (PDF).

Purpose of Restrictions

Residential, multi-family, commercial, industrial and institutional properties are all required to follow these restrictions. The City enforces water use restrictions to:

  • Accommodate for the region’s inability to capture, store and distribute water because of the limited capacity of the City’s watersheds
  • Defer the costs of operating and expanding water supply and transmission facilities
  • Help stabilize the increase in water consumption that takes place during the summer months
  • Help sustain water for present and future generations
  • Maintain consistent water pressure to customers