For detailed information on all restriction levels, download the Metro Vancouver GVWD Water Shortage Response Plan (60 KB).
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.
The City of Vancouver recognizes that in some cases the regulations may not provide your lawn with enough water. If you have a new lawn or you are using nematodes to treat your lawn for European Chafer Beetles, you can apply for a water exemption permit.
If you water your lawn outside of designated times and don't have a permit, 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 1. 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||
|Non-Residential lawn sprinkling||
|New (unestablished) residential and commercial lawns, trees, shrubs, and flowers||Sprinkling outside restricted times allowed only at the discretion of each municipality and with special permits to be displayed on lawn.|
|Flowers and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs and trees||No restrictions|
|Commercial flowers and vegetable gardens||No restrictions|
|Private pools, spas, and garden ponds||No restrictions|
|Public water play parks, and pools||No restrictions|
|Public and commercial fountains and water features||No restrictions|
|Private and commercial outdoor impermeable surface washing (such as, driveways, sidewalks, and parkades)||No restrictions|
|Private and commercial pressure washing||No restrictions|
|Outdoor car washing and boat washing||Only with hose equipped with spring-loaded shut off.|
|Commercial car washes||No restrictions|
|Golf courses||Municipalities request golf course operators cut water use on fairways by as much as possible.|
|Commercial turf farms||No restrictions|
|Synthetic 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||No restrictions|
|Municipal parks||No restrictions|
|Municipal ornamental lawns and grassed boulevards||
|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