Water Restrictions

In the summer and early fall our water use can double from the rest of the year for swimming pools, growing food, maintaining sports fields and other social and community-building uses. But a lot is also used to green our lawns, wash our decks or driveways and other lower-priority uses. The region-wide sprinkling regulations are an effective way to help us use our drinking water wisely. 


Stage 1 lawn sprinkling regulations in effect May 15 - October 15

With Stage 1 regulations lawn sprinkling is permitted at the following times:


Even-numbered addresses Monday, Wednesday, Saturday mornings 4 am to 9 am 
Odd-numbered addresses Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday mornings 4 am to 9 am


Even-numbered addresses Monday, Wednesday mornings 1 am to 6 am 
Odd-numbered addresses Tuesday, Thursday mornings 1 am to 6 am 
All non-residential addresses Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am

In addition to lawn sprinkling regulations, there are other water use restrictions when Stage 1 of the Water Shortage Response Plan is active.

Some examples are:

  • Outdoor car washing and boat washing with a hose with spring-loaded shut off only
  • Golf course operators requested to cut water use on fairways as much as possible
  • Artificial turf and outdoor tracks hosed for health and safety only
  • Cemetery lawn operators to use non-residential sprinkling times posted above

For more Information:

 These restrictions do not apply to the use of rain water, gray water, any forms of recycled water, or other sources of water outside the GVWD/municipal water supply system.

Tips to Reduce Water Consumption

Conserving water throughout the region is important, so everyone needs to do their part. How can you help? Here are some tips from Metro Vancouver:

Be waterwise outdoors

  • Avoid watering the lawn, and meet current restrictions
  • Put leaves and bark mulch around shrubs and trees to hold in moisture
  • Water vegetable gardens in the morning, near the roots, and by hand
  • Wash cars for safety only, (windscreens, windows and headlights) using a bucket
  • Sweep driveways or decks with a broom instead of the hose
  • Install a shut-off valve on your hose so it only runs when in use
  • Join the herd, and let everything go a little dusty this summer.


Be waterwise indoors

  • Keep a jug of cool water in the fridge, instead of running the tap 'till it cools
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing dishes
  • Shorter showers, less often
  • Catch bath or shower water for tipping on patio planters
  • Run full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher
  • Install low-flow toilets as they account for 30% of indoor use
  • When replacing appliances, choose low-flow, high efficiency options.


Be waterwise in the garden

This summer

  • Pull planters into the shade to avoid the hot afternoon sun
  • Water vegetable gardens in the morning, near the roots, and by hand
  • Hand water vegetable beds deeply but less often, to encourage strong deep roots
  • Hardened soil won't let water through- break up the surface
  • Mulch key shrubs and vegetable gardens to hold moisture longer
  • Embrace the dry heat with tomatoes, basil, beans, melon, eggplant and more
  • When bean vines die off, lay them among the vegetable rows to generate shade and nutrients

Over time

  • Plant shade trees to shelter your home and garden from hot sun
  • Choose shrubs, grasses and flowers that suite our climate, including summer drought
  • Design vegetable and flower beds nearer your house;  avoid places that are hard-to-reach and water
  • Improve your soil with compost and autumn leaves so it's more nutritious and holds water better
  • Install a rain-barrel near your vegetable beds
  • Community gardener? Get together and come up with a water use plan for your plots.