Water supplies in Metro Vancouver are on the low end of the normal range, according to Darrell Mussatto, Chair of the Utilities Committee.
As it stands, the reservoirs are lower than average at about 79 per cent capacity. Daily water consumption is also up from this time last year by about one million litres.
The chart below shows where our reservoir levels are compared to normal range.
Mussatto told Vancity Buzz we’re having a hot, dry summer with almost no rain, which leads people to water their lawns more frequently.
The combination of greater water use without replenishment could mean harsher restrictions are on the horizon.
“We’re at stage one, which means people can water their lawns three times a week. Stage two is once a week,” said Mussatto.
“I’m asking people to not water their lawns. Lawns do not die, they go dormant. Certainly you’re allowed to water your vegetables and your gardens. If we didn’t water our lawns, we’d have a lot more water in the reservoirs.”
The Capilano and Seymour Reservoirs are both government owned, but the Coquitlam reservoir is owned by BC Hydro. If the situation becomes dire, the province might have to purchase up to 68 billion litres of water from the Coquitlam reservoir.
“Typically, we like to get our reservoirs 100% full by July 1, but we haven’t had any rain in May and June,” he added.
“People need to treat water as a precious resource. We should only use it when we really need it.”
Mussatto adds that you can conserve water in small ways, such as doing a full load of laundry, waiting until the dishwasher is full to run it, and not washing your car.