Where Our Water Comes From


Our water comes from rainfall and snowmelt in the watersheds north of the cities.

The three watersheds – Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam – together cover an area 150 times the size of Stanley Park.

The watersheds are closed to public access, protecting our water supply from human disturbance.

The rain and melting snow flows downhill through creeks and streams into the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam Reservoirs.

While rainfall replenishes the reservoirs during the winter and spring, dry periods and higher demand for water in the summer lower the reservoirs' water levels – and our drinking water supply.

Our drinking water is treated right as it leaves the reservoirs, in two state-of-the-art water treatment plants.

The Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant can treat up to 1.8 billion litres of water per day. Underground tunnels transport water from the Capilano Reservoir, so that water from both Seymour and Capilano can be treated at one facility.

The Coquitlam Water Treatment Plant treats around 380 million litres of drinking water each day, about one-third of the total water supply delivered in the region.

Metro Vancouver conducts daily tests on our drinking water—analyzing around 35,000 water samples each year.

Water is tested at the reservoirs, through the water mains, and again in each municipality to ensure it's clean and safe all the way to your tap.

Metro Vancouver delivers about one billion litres of drinking water each day (rising to over 1.5 billion in summer) to local governments.

Over 500 kms of water mains connect a network of dams, pump stations, storage reservoirs and disinfection stations.

The water flows into local government distribution systems, from where it is delivered to the taps of businesses and residents.