Metro Vancouver’s new, more restrictive lawn watering restrictions kick in Sunday

Metro Vancouver residents will need to start moderating their outdoor water use starting Sunday. File/ Global News

Metro Vancouver residents and businesses will need to moderate their outdoor water use starting Sunday, May 1, as the first stage of the region’s water restrictions take effect.

Under new regulations coming into force this year, residents and businesses will be limited to watering their lawns once a week.

“Last summer, our region experienced a record-breaking heatwave that resulted in unprecedented and sustained high water use,” Metro Vancouver Board Chair Sav Dhaliwal said in a media release earlier this month.

“This challenging event, during which we were confronted with the urgency of the climate emergency, highlighted the need to further reduce consumption of water for cosmetic outdoor uses through the whole summer, so we can get through the dry spells without requiring a switch mid-season to Stage 2 restrictions.”

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For residential properties, even-numbered addresses are permitted to water lawns on Saturdays and odd-numbered addresses can water lawns on Sundays.

Watering is only permitted in the morning. Automatic watering can take place from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m., while manual watering is permitted from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m.

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Under the regulations, residents can water trees, shrubs and flowers any day from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. if they are using sprinklers, or at any time of day if watering by hand or using drip irrigation.

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The regulations differ slightly for commercial properties. Non-residential properties with even numbered addresses can water lawns on Mondays, while odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays. Automatic watering is permitted from 4 a.m. until 6 a.m., while manual watering is permitted form 6 a.m. until 9 a.m.

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Trees, shrubs and flowers can be watered by sprinkler from 4 a.m. until 9 a.m. or by hand or drip irrigation at any time of day.

If and when Stage 2 restrictions are imposed, lawn watering in Metro Vancouver will be banned outright, while an upgrade to Stage 3 would also ban washing vehicles and boats.

Fines for violating water restrictions vary by municipality.

The region’s annual water restrictions are in place from May 1 until Oct. 15.


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