Lawn sprinkling is how only allowed before 9 a.m. in the morning, three days a week.

Lawn sprinkling is how only allowed before 9 a.m. in the morning, three days a week.

Dry summer hasn’t drained Metro Vancouver water reservoirs

Levels normal, officials credit tougher lawn sprinkling rules

Despite a sunny and rain-free July, Metro Vancouverites have kept tap water usage under control.

And regional district officials are crediting tightened lawn sprinkling regulations for the water conservation success during the record dry spell.

Metro Vancouver dispensed an average of 1.45 billion litres a day last month, with a peak of 1.6 billion litres on July 24.

The region consistently stayed well below its one-day record high for water consumption of more than two million litres set four years ago.

“It appears that mornings-only lawn sprinkling regulations across the region have helped to reduce the demand for our high-quality drinking water in summer, when the demand for water soars during hot and sunny days,” said North Vancouver City Mayor Darrell Mussatto, who chairs Metro’s utilities committee.

Metro decided to ban evening lawn sprinkling to ease demand at peak hours when many households are running dishwashers, clothes washers and baths.

Metro reservoirs are currently about 78 per cent full – somewhat lower levels than the previous two summers when more rain fell, but still well within what’s considered the normal range. (See graph below.)

Metro has plenty of water most of the year but its North Shore reservoirs can run low in the peak-use summer months if homes and businesses consume too much.

Mussatto said collective diligence in conserving water helps postpone the need for costly new projects to build higher dams and bigger mains and pumping stations.

Lawn sprinkling is only allowed before 9 a.m. in the morning, three days a week, between June 1 and Sept. 30.

Watering of shrubs, trees, flowers and vegetables are exempt from the lawn sprinkling restrictions.