About the watering restrictions

Why restrictions are needed in rainy Vancouver

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.

What happens if you water outside of the permitted times

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.

What exactly is restricted?

The restrictions have four stages based on the seriousness of the water shortage (60 KB).

Note 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.

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Exemption permits

Water exemption permits are available under certain circumstances.

Find out how to get a water exemption permit if you are:

  • Growing a new lawn.
  • Treating your lawn with nematodes.


What about parks and playing fields?

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.

Metro Vancouver lawn sprinkling regulations

Metro Vancouver

Lawn sprinkling regulations are set by Metro Vancouver and enforced by the City.

Read about Metro Vancouver's lawn sprinkling regulations.

Learn more

Last modified: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:32:29