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Drinking Water Week leads into a water wise summer

May 3 2016

“Being water wise not only gets us closer to reaching our Greenest City goal of a 33% reduction in water use, it also shows that Vancouverites are thoughtful about how we use our resources,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Couple with lawn sprinkler

Join us in celebrating this year's international Drinking Water Week. Find out what we can all do be water wise with our high-quality drinking water. 

"Last year, we experienced the most severe drought since 2003, with stage three water restrictions, reminding Vancouver residents the value of being water wise, and using it only when needed most: for drinking, cooking, and cleaning,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Being water wise not only gets us closer to reaching our Greenest City goal of a 33% reduction in water use, it also shows that Vancouverites are thoughtful about how we use our resources.”

What you can do to be water wise

Our treated drinking water is regulated by Metro Vancouver. Watering restrictions begin May 15, but being water wise is something we can all do all year long.

Reduce outdoor watering

The number one thing that you can do in the summer to be water wise is to reduce outdoor watering. One hour of lawn sprinkling can use as much water as 25 toilet flushes, five loads of laundry, and five dishwasher loads combined. Lawns in Vancouver generally need only one inch of water for one hour a week, including rainfall, to stay healthy and green. 

Commit to not water your lawn

This summer, show your commitment to being water wise by choosing not to water your lawn, and post an “I’m Going for Gold!” sign on your front lawn to let your neighbours know why your grass is going dormant. You can pick up a Gold Lawn sign at City Hall or at a Pop Up City Hall this summer.

Find out how to be water wise

How we are being water wise

Reducing the use of treated drinking water

We are actively reducing the use of treated drinking water in public spaces, recreational facilities, and civic facilities. 

We will again let cemetery lawns and the City Hall lawn go gold.

This year, thousands of gallons of water will also be saved due to a collaboration with Parks to retrofit water play parks with user-activated switches. 

Conducting water conservation projects at parks and golf courses

Based on new metering data, the Park Board will conduct water conservation projects at Trout Lake and sites in Stanley Park, which together account for 25% of the Park Board’s current water use. In addition, the Park Board is reviewing options for more rainwater capture and storage at Fraserview Golf Course.

"Water conservation is a critical part of the Park Board's green operations initiatives," stated Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. "While our parks and facilities account for about 3% of the city's total water use, management of water in parks sets the standard for water conservation on private land across the city."

The Park Board is also showing leadership in the way golf courses are managed. Water consumption is being actively reduced through best management practices such as converting out of play areas to naturalized areas and planting drought tolerant species.