Lawn Watering Regulations

Our water use can increase by 50% in summer and early fall, 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 watering regulations are an effective way to help us use our drinking water wisely.

Metro Vancouver has updated the Water Shortage Response Plan with a new plan, called the Drinking Water Conservation Plan, active as of May 1, 2018.

It includes changes to the water use regulations, and largely impacts the watering of lawns and gardens, playing fields and golf courses, and the operation of commercial car washes and pools.

Lawn Watering Regulations are in effect May 1 to October 15

Stage 1 Residential lawn Watering allowed:

Even-numbered addresses Wednesday, Saturday mornings 4 am to 9 am
Odd-numbered addresses Thursday, Sunday mornings 4 am to 9 am
Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day, from 4 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation.

Stage 1 Non-residential lawn Watering allowed:

Even-numbered addresses Monday mornings 1 am to 6 am and Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am
Odd-numbered addresses Tuesday mornings 1 am to 6 am and Friday mornings, 4 am to 9 am
Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day, from 1 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation.
  • Municipal contact information for enforcement and watering regulations
    Contact Municipality Number
    General EnquiriesAnmore604-469-9877
    General EnquiriesBelcarra604-937-4100
    EngineeringBurnaby604-293-6528
    Engineering & Public WorksCoquitlam604-927-3500
    Lawn Watering Regulation Information & ComplaintsDelta604-946-4141
    General EnquiriesUEL604-660-1808
    EngineeringLangley City604-514-2997
    EngineeringLangley Township604-533-6006
    OperationsMaple Ridge604-463-9581
    Engineering OperationsNew Westminster604-526-4691
    Engineering, Parks & EnvironmentNorth Vancouver City604-983-7333
    General EnquiriesNorth Vancouver District604-990-2311
    Bylaw EnforcementPitt Meadows604-465-2445
    EngineeringPort Coquitlam604-927-5420
    Bylaw EnforcementPort Moody604-469-4697
    Lawn Watering Regulation Information and ComplaintsRichmond604-276-4355
    By-law Call Centre (active violations)Surrey604-591-4370
    Engineering Department (past violations, general information)Surrey604-591-4340
    General EnquiriesTsawwassen First Nation604-943-2112
    General EnquiriesVancouver604-873-7000
    EngineeringWest Vancouver604-925-7020
    Other municipalities that don't receive Metro Vancouver water
     Bowen Island604-947-4255
     Lions Bay604-921-9333
    City of White RockWhite Rock604-541-2181

 

In addition to lawn watering regulations, there are other water use restrictions when Stage 1 of the Drinking Water Conservation Plan is active.

Some examples are:

  • Outdoor car washing and boat washing with a hose with spring-loaded shut off nozzle only
  • Watering new, unestablished lawns outside of regulated times requires a municipal permit
  • Golf course operators requested to cut water use on fairways as much as possible
  • Watering school yards and sports fields from 7 pm to 9 am any day

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.

An hour of rain or watering per week is all the water you need for a healthy lawn. Find more information about how to maintain a healthy lawn throughout the year, while following the lawn watering regulations, with Metro Vancouver's lawn care guide.

A healthy lawn is the best defence against chafer beetle, an invasive insect that has damaged lawns throughout the region. Learn more about chafer beetle and how to treat it within the lawn watering regulations.