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Ban on lawn watering to soon take effect in Metro Vancouver amid drought

Regional district says water usage remains higher than average
FILE - The Metro Vancouver Regional District said it’s moving to Stage 2 watering restrictions due to continued high water demand and forecasted, hot, dry weather (J.R. Rardon)

Metro Vancouver is issuing a ban on all lawn watering, starting next Friday (Aug. 4), as a measure to conserve drinking water.

The regional district said it’s moving to Stage 2 watering restrictions due to continued high water demand and forecasted, hot, dry weather. The last time Metro Vancouver moved beyond Stage 1 was in 2015 when conditions were relatively dry and there was low snowpack.

Metro Vancouver board chair George Harvie said the use of the regional district’s water user remains higher than ever, with water consumption in the region since May averaging about 20 per cent higher than last year.

“With more hot weather on the horizon, we are taking this proactive step to ensure that our region’s 2.8 million residents will have enough drinking water for essential uses for the rest of the dry season.”

Metro Vancouver typically delivers one billion litres of treated drinking water each day, but that number can increase by more than 50 per cent in the summer, largely due to lawn watering and other outdoor uses.

Stage 2 restrictions include:

• A ban on all lawn watering

• Trees, shrubs, and flowers can be watered by hand or using soaker hoses or drip irrigation at any time, or by using a sprinkler between 5 and 9 a.m. any day;

• Vegetable gardens can be watered at any time;

• Aesthetic water features, such as fountains, cannot be filled or topped up;

• Washing impermeable surfaces like driveways and sidewalks is prohibited except in limited circumstances

Non-residential properties are also subject to similar restrictions. Watering at golf courses and sports fields will also be reduced, and water parks that do not have user-activated buttons and switches may be temporarily closed.

These restrictions do not apply to the use of rain water, grey water, any forms of recycled water, or other sources of water outside the regional and municipal drinking water supply system.


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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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