Metro Vancouver water restrictions lowered to Stage 1 level

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Image: Mount Seymour via Shutterstock

The water restrictions in Metro Vancouver in response to this past summer’s severe drought have largely been lifted following the recent rainfall and continued forecasts of wet weather.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District announced today that water restrictions have been further downgraded from Stage 2 to Stage 1. The changes are effective immediately.

The combined water storage levels for Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam reservoirs are now above 2014 levels and well within the normal range at this time of year.

Image: Metro Vancouver Regional District

Image: Metro Vancouver Regional District

With a Stage 1 water restriction level, both residential and non-residential lawns can now be watered three times a week and public water features and fountains can be refilled and reactivated.

Here is a full list of the changes that come with Stage 1 water restrictions:

  • Even-numbered residential addresses can water their lawns on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 4 to 9 a.m. while odd-numbered residential addresses can water their lawns on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings from 4 to 9 a.m.
  • Non-residential addresses can water their lawns on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 1 to 6 a.m. while odd numbered addresses can water their lawns on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 1 to 6 a.m. Both non-residential address types can water their lawns on Friday morning from 4 to 9 a.m.
  • Public water parks, pools, water features and aesthetic fountains can be reactivated.
  • Private and commercial surfaces can be washed. This includes driveways, sidewalks and parkades.
  • Private and commercial pressure washing is now permitted.
  • Outdoor car washing and boat washing is permitted with the use of a hose equipped with a spring-loaded shut off.
  • Golf courses are permitted to water their fairways more often, within reason.
  • School yards, sports and sand-based playing fields can be watered without any restrictions.
  • Cemeteries can water their lawns more frequently.

The historic drought began in May and ended in late-August, with Stage 2 restrictions enacted on July 3 and Stage 3 restrictions shortly after on July 20.

This summer’s highest recorded water consumption was on July 2 when 1.7 billion litres were used. On that day, a temperature high of 24.6°C was recorded by the water in Vancouver, with even higher temperatures inland.

In addition to hot water and a lack of rainfall, snowpacks in the region’s mountains were almost non-existent following a winter that had warm temperatures and very little snow.

Snowpacks typically act as ‘stored water’ that replenishes reservoir levels during the summer months when there is less rain.

Water restrictions were downgraded from Stage 3 to Stage 2 on September 9.

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