Adjusting Water Use Regulations in 2016Adjusting Water Use Regulations in 2016<div class="ExternalClass0E9BEC81CCBE4D8FAEC1CB4A47D04C51"><p>The purpose of the region's Water Shortage Response Plan (WSRP) is to manage demand for drinking water during the summer months (lawn watering, pressure washing, vehicle washing, filling of swimming pools, etc). It also has a role during an emergency, such as an earthquake or significant infrastructure failure, but that is outside of this update.  </p><p>During the hot, dry summer in 2015, activating the WSRP significantly reduced Metro Vancouver's <a href="/services/water/sources-supply/reservoir-levels/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">daily water consumption</a>.  Consumption peaked at about 1.7 billion litres per day in early July, and came down to an average of about 1.1 billion litres per day once Stage 3 (which essentially prohibits lawn watering) was activated.<em> </em></p><p>As 2015 was the first year to activate higher stages of the plan in over a decade, it was a real-time test for the effectiveness and the impact on water users, including businesses. This presented the opportunity to review the plan with local government staff, residents, and businesses during the fall and winter 2015/16. </p><p>From this review the GVWD Board approved the following amendments for 2016: </p><ol><li><strong>Extend Stage 1 of the Plan to May 15 to October 15 (previously June 1 to September 30);</strong></li><li><strong>Amend Stage 2 to allow water to be used by commercial cleaning services for aesthetic cleaning; and</strong></li><li><strong>Amend Stage 3 to allow previously issued lawn sprinkling exemption permits to remain valid. </strong></li></ol><p>Local governments are adjusting their relevant Water Use Bylaws to align with the amendments, in preparation for summer 2016. </p><p>In recent public opinion research, we see very high support for regulating water use during dry summer months. Public feedback indicates support for improving water conservation measures as well as enforcement of the regulations. </p><p>But the feedback also identified some concerns such as; financial hardship experienced by some seasonal employers/ employees, challenges with enforcement, and concerns about how and when various stages were implemented.  </p><p>Others reported being inconvenienced by the restrictions and dissatisfied with the uncertainty around when and how to use water. Some suggested expanding our water supply system be prioritized over water conservation measures. </p><p><strong>Next steps</strong></p><p>The amendments for summer 2016 concluded Phase 1 of the WSRP evaluation. Phase 2 of the evaluation is more in depth, and may open the plan to broader changes. Metro Vancouver is undertaking a technical review to improve the plan's efficiency, effectiveness, and equity. </p><p>From this, a new plan will be drafted over summer 2016, with input from our members.  Consultation is planned for fall 2016. The plan is expected to go to the Board in late 2016, and may require further local government bylaw adjustments to be activated in time for summer 2017. <a href="/services/water/engagement/WSRP-review/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">More information</a>. </p></div>|#e04b455a-38c8-4b05-9905-86d5a97cd25d;L0|#0e04b455a-38c8-4b05-9905-86d5a97cd25d|Issue 19;GTSet|#d14ffe11-45dc-48fb-8684-ff109cf15a74<div class="ExternalClass2BC58E2C00D240EB8FA4C7FEE694B6A7"><p>​Amendments approved for Metro Vancouver's Water Shortage Response Plan to help manage drinking water for this year's summer months.</p></div>0