Metro Vancouver reservoirs nearly half full, but tougher restrictions still coming

Metro Vancouver reservoirs are about 46 per cent full, within the normal range but lower than the previous two years. Global News

With the hot summer weather now in the rearview mirror, Metro Vancouver is sitting on reservoirs that are nearly half full.

But that won’t be enough to keep the region from phasing in tighter regulations next year.

Despite a hot, dry summer, Metro Vancouver managed to stay on Stage 1 water restrictions for the entire season and reached October with reservoirs about 46 per cent full.

That’s slightly below this time last year, and significantly below 2015, the year the region was forced to escalate to stringent Stage 3 water restrictions amid a prolonged drought.

However, levels remain well within historical averages. Chair of the Metro Vancouver utilities committee Darrell Mussatto said many residents went the extra mile this year when it came to conserving water.

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“Most importantly, the single family home owners, they watered their lawns a lot better this year. They only did it once or twice a week to keep their lawns green and healthy, they didn’t do it any more than that for most people.”

Metro Vancouver reservoirs nearly half full, but tougher restrictions still coming - image
Metro Vancouver

But with long dry spells regularly recurring during the summer months, Mussatto said the region is pressing ahead with tougher water use regulations next year.

“So next year we’re going to be starting [Stage 1 water restrictions] May 1st instead of May 15th, and we’ll actually be going down to two days a week for watering, only in the mornings,” he said.
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“Right now we’re at three days a week.”

It will be the second time in three years the region has moved the start date for Stage 1 restrictions. In 2016, Metro Vancouver shifted the date to May 15 from June 1st.

Metro Vancouver says the water restrictions are needed because regional water consumption can climb by 50 per cent in summer months.

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