While the Vancouver area gets a lot of rain, the Lower Mainland has limited water storage capacity.
Much of the rainfall and melted snow in the Capilano and Seymour watersheds can't be collected for later use during dry weather conditions.
Years ago this wasn't a problem, but recent population growth in the Lower Mainland has led to increased demand for water.
The Metro Vancouver regional district has implemented sprinkling regulations to avoid more restrictive measures in case of drought.
Water exemption permits are not issued during Stage 3 watering restrictions. Water Exemption Permits will be revoked in the event that the GVRD (Metro Vancouver) activates Stage 3 or Stage 4 of the Water Shortage Response Plan, By-law 8912. Refunds will not be issued.
If you water your lawn during the Stage 3 watering restrictions, you could be fined $250. The City actively patrols for violations.
The restrictions have four stages based on the seriousness of the water shortage (60 KB).
Currently, the City of Vancouver is at Stage 3. See the table below for information about the specific restrictions for this stage.
These restrictions apply only to the use of treated drinking water. Using rain water, gray water, or any forms of recycled water isn't restricted.
|Residential lawn sprinkling||All forms of watering using treated drinking water are prohibited.|
|Non-Residential lawn sprinkling||All forms of watering using treated drinking water are prohibited.|
|New (unestablished) residential and commercial lawns, trees, shrubs, and flowers||No new permits issued or renewed. All forms of watering using treated drinking water are prohibited.|
|Flowers and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs, and trees||Only if done by hand using a spring-loaded shut-off nozzle, or using containers or drip irrigation. Use of sprinklers or soaker hoses is prohibited.|
|Commercial flowers and vegetable gardens||No restrictions|
|Private pools, spas, and garden ponds||Refilling is prohibited.|
|Public water play parks, and pools||Unless otherwise authorized by municipality, only water play parks with user-activated switches will be operated.|
|Public and commercial fountains and water features||All shut down.|
|Private and commercial outdoor impermeable surface washing (such as, driveways, sidewalks, and parkades)||Only for health and safety purposes or to prepare a surface for painting or similar treatment. Washing for aesthetic purposes is prohibited.|
|Private and commercial pressure washing||Only for health and safety purposes or to prepare a surface for painting or similar treatment. Washing for aesthetic purposes is prohibited. Private pressure washing prohibited.|
|Outdoor car washing and boat washing||No outdoor washing or rinsing of vehicles and pleasure crafts, except for safety (windows, lights, and licenses only).|
|Commercial car washes||No restrictions|
|Golf courses||Water greens and tee areas minimally; fairways may not be watered.|
|Commercial turf farms||No restrictions|
|Artificial turf and outdoor tracks (such as, bicycle and motorcycle tracks, running tracks)||Hosing for health and safety only.|
|School yards, sports, and sand-based playing fields||Minimum levels required to maintain areas in useable condition.|
|Cemetery lawns||All forms of watering using treated drinking water are prohibited.|
|Municipal parks||All forms of watering using treated drinking water are prohibited.|
|Municipal ornamental lawns and grassed boulevards||All forms of watering using treated drinking water are prohibited.|
|Municipal hydrant flushing||Only for unscheduled safety or public health reasons. Routine flushing to be scheduled after restrictions are lifted.|
Find out how to get a water exemption permit if you are:
Parks and playing fields areas are exempt from the restrictions because they are often too large to be effectively watered within the allowed sprinkling times.
Also, most playing fields are built on a sand base for better drainage. Turf grown on a sand base can die if not watered. The high cost of replacing playing field turf is a poor use of public money.
Lawn sprinkling regulations are set by Metro Vancouver and enforced by the City.
Read about Metro Vancouver's lawn sprinkling regulations.
Last modified: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:32:29