Media Releases



Due to unseasonably dry and hot weather, Metro Vancouver has further restricted water use, including lawn sprinkling regulations.  The Commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water District in a declaration issued today confirmed that the Metro Vancouver region is now in the second stage of the comprehensive four-stage plan that has the necessary measures to deal with water shortages. Metro Vancouver Chief Administrative Officer Carol Mason is Commissioner of the Water District. "Metro Vancouver takes water conservation and protection of our sources of drinking water extremely seriously," said Commissioner Mason. "Over the last several years, our lawn sprinkling regulations have had a significant positive impact on reducing water demands in the peak summer season, and we are asking residents and businesses to further conserve water at this time." Watering lawns is permitted in the morning but prohibited during evening hours when demand is highest for domestic uses like cooking, dishwashing, laundry and showers. The increased restrictions apply to lawn sprinkling only and not to watering flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees. Metro Vancouver member municipalities enforce the lawn sprinkling regulations. "We need to reduce our discretionary use of water including lawn sprinkling and washing cars," said Board Chair Moore. "Our reservoir levels need to be maintained for priority needs in our homes and businesses, and for community needs like fire protection." "We are seeing record temperatures and there was virtually no rain in June when normally we have rain on about 12 days," added Moore. "We all have to do our part and conserve water whenever possible, and that now includes only watering lawns once a week." Additionally, all public and commercial fountains and water features are not allowed to operate. Unless authorized by a municipality, only water play parks with user-activated switches can be operated. Private and commercial washing of driveways, sidewalks, and parkades as well as pressure washing are only allowed for health and safety purposes. Aesthetic purposes are not allowed. Sports and sand-based playing fields may only use the minimum level of water needed to keep them in usable conditions. Golf courses may only water fairways once weekly. Thanks to conservation programs like the lawn sprinkling regulations and the Water Shortage Response Plan, there has been a 27 per cent decline in per-capita water use in Metro Vancouver since 1993. Since Metro Vancouver revised its lawn sprinkling regulations in 2011 to only allow morning sprinkling, peak-day per-capita water demand has decreased by two per cent per year. The seasonal lawn sprinkling regulations took effect on June 1 to help conserve Metro Vancouver’s high-quality drinking water and are in place until September 30. One hour of lawn sprinkling uses as much water as 25 toilet flushes, five loads of laundry, and five dishwasher loads. The demand for water doubles during the hottest days of summer to as much as two billion litres of water a day. Other ways to conserve water include: sweeping driveways, sidewalks, and garden paths rather than spraying them with water, ensuring there are full loads for dish and clothes washers, using a spray nozzle with an automatic shut-off when washing your car or watering plants, fixing leaking faucets and hose connections, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing dishes. The last time that Metro Vancouver implemented the second stage of the Water Shortage Response Plan was in 2003. Current Lawn Sprinkling Regulations  Residential:Even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 4 a.m. - 9 a.m. Monday  Odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 4 a.m. - 9 a.m. Thursday Non-residential: Even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 1 a.m. - 6 a.m. Wednesday Odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 1 a.m. – 6 a.m. TuesdayMunicipal parks must also follow the once weekly lawn sprinkling times GREATER VANCOUVER WATER DISTRICTDeclaration of Activiation of Stage 2GVWD Water Shortage Response PlanWHEREAS the Greater Vancouver Water District has experienced an unusually dry and hot May and June which has resulted in record dry and unseasonably warm conditions and has led to the water storage in our source reservoirs being depleted much earlier and faster than under normal conditions;AND WHEREAS the combination of these weather conditions and the unseasonably high demand for water during this extended period continues to impact the storage capacity of the GVWD source reservoirs which are relied upon to provide treated drinking water to the region; AND WHEREAS the Water Shortage Response Plan considers impact on the GVWD source reservoirs when summer drought conditions are anticipated to strain the source water storage capacity within the watersheds; AND WHEREAS the Commissioner has authority under the provisions of the Greater Vancouver Water District Act and the GVWD Water Shortage Response Plan to declare activation of Stage 2 of the GVWD Water Shortage Response Plan;  NOW THEREFORE: IT IS HEREBY DECLARED pursuant to the provisions of the Greater Vancouver Water District Act and the GVWD Water Shortage Response Plan, having considered the conditions of the GVWD source reservoirs, the current level of water usage within the Greater Vancouver Water District and the predicted weather conditions for the summer of 2015, that Stage 2 of the GVWD Water Shortage Response Plan be activated.DECLARED by the Greater Vancouver Water District Commissioner this 3rd day of July, 2015 to remain in effect until rescinded by the Commissioner by activation of a different stage of the GVWD Water Shortage Response Plan or by cancellation of the activation of the GVWD Water Shortage Response Plan.  CAROL MASONCommissionerGreater Vancouver Water District