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Be water wise this summer

July 8 2015

Water your garden with a watering can or a hose that has a spring-loaded nozzle

Following a low snow pack and increased heat with no rain, new water restrictions came into effect this week throughout Metro Vancouver.

New water restrictions for municipalities, residents, and businesses are designed for an immediate impact to slow down and curb water consumption to protect our reserves for the rest of the summer. We will comply with the restrictions by reducing water use by us and our facilities, as well as ensuring the broader community is operating within the new restrictions. 

How we are reducing our water use

We have taken steps to reduce water use across public spaces, recreational facilities, and within civic facilities to align with the restrictions. For example:

  • Cemetery lawns will not be watered and watering of golf course fairways and sports fields will be reduced to once per week.
  • Ornamental fountains and other water features will be shut down unless they exclusively use recirculated water.

We have a number of water based play facilities for children which benefit from technology designed to conserve water and can be operated under the regulation.

View a list of features and facilities open

What you can do to reduce your use of water

For the broader community, one of the most important contributions is to not water lawns. Under the restrictions, if you choose to water your lawn you may do so only once a week and during the permitted day and hours. Watering of lawns contributes significantly to water consumption.

Our bylaw officers will be escalating enforcement of the restrictions seven days a week, days and evenings. The fine for watering lawns outside the restrictions or washing non-permeable surfaces (such driveways, walkways, etc.) is $250. 

View lawn sprinkling restrictions

Significant steps you can take

Be water wise and make a significant contribution to conserving our water by taking a few steps, like:

  • Let lawns go brown, or abide by the lawn sprinkling restrictions (once per week).
  • Do water flower and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs and trees. These plants provide habitat for birds and insects that are vital to the environment and the food chain.
  • Do help young, recently planted trees thrive. Refill the slow-release water bags set out by Parks staff or adopt a tree in your neighbourhood.
  • Only use a hand-held spring-loaded nozzle, watering can or drip irrigation when watering shrubs and gardens so the water goes exactly where it’s needed. 
  • Sweep away leaves and debris rather than using a hose to spray them away – this limits the amount of potable water washed down the storm drains.
  • Take a break from washing the car, spot clean your windows with a hand-held, spring-loaded nozzle, and no more power-washing unless it is specifically for health and safety reasons. 
  • Turn off your taps, fix leaky faucets and running toilets, and, use ice cubes or cool drinking water in the fridge rather than running the tap for long periods.  
  • If you have a newly planted lawn it can be watered more often as it gets started, however a permit is required and make sure it is posted on your lawn.

Water use restrictions in effect until September 30

The City and Metro Vancouver continue to monitor reservoir levels. Water use restrictions will remain in effect throughout the region until September 30.

Find water and spray parks in the city

Prince Edward spray park

Water parks and wading pools

Find water parks and wading pools in Vancouver – the perfect way to cool down in the city on a hot summer day.

Lawn sprinkling restrictions